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Finally a level-headed thinker and none too late. I am curious as to whether the census bureau accounts for the employed illegals in the employment figures. If they do not then this economy has employed more workers than are registered resulting in a negative employment figure or to say it another way 105%+/- employment.p>At any rate I employ approximately 50 hard-working individuals. We have a very diverse group including some Hispanic. I would love to hire American labor but considered from a free market perspective the Hispanic labor is hands down superior. I continue to hear that Hispanic labor works cheaper — wrong again. Just because their first language is not English does not render them ignorant of their value. The big difference is they perform to the level they represent and the level I agree to pay for on a consistent basis. I see a disturbing trend in that the longer they stay in America the more “Americanized” they become. However, for now it is refreshing to deal with individuals that are appreciative for the job and opportunity given them. I consider myself a conservative Republican but am tiring of the simplistic way we address issues such as immigration, e.g., build a fence along the border) — hell, why not string a row of land mines along the border? It is as though we cannot see our connection to our fellow man, much less the reality of the situation. At least Mr. Tyrrell understands and is articulating this understanding. I only hope the levelheaded are listening. I can assure you the illegals are. br> — Robert Sneed br> Richmond, Virginia /p>
After reading Mr. Tyrrell’s article, I am at a loss as to his point. As I read through, he seemed to say that immigration is good, illegal immigration is good, securing the borders is good, but securing the interior of the country is bad. On one hand, we need to know who is entering the country, but on the other we shouldn’t worry about who is already here. I am confused. I consider myself a member of the mainstream conservative movement. As such I feel that I reflect the majority of Americans in many areas, including immigration. So, here is my take on the immigration problem. Please correct me if I am wrong on this.
First, immigration is good. Traditionally, those who immigrated to this country did so to become American citizens. They came for a variety of reasons, but American citizenship was their goal. They entered through legal channels and overcame great obstacles to achieve citizenship. This is the route followed by the forebears of 80% of the current citizens of this country. This traditional view of immigrants and immigration is largely accepted by the American people. What is not acceptable to most Americans is illegal immigration. While there is sympathy, compassion and understanding for an illegal immigrant and his reasons for coming to America, his choice of entry status guarantees his failure to achieve citizenship. This causes him to lose favor in the eyes of most American citizens. It makes it appear that he intends to take advantage of the largess available to residents of this country, a largess earned through generations of hard work, without contributing to that largess. The use of public benefits (medical care, education and social service programs) by illegal immigrants is a continual source of irritation for a large number of citizens.
Second, the concept of rewarding people for cheating or, in the case of illegal immigrants, breaking the law does not sit well with basically law-abiding Americans. An amnesty program, especially one that would entice only half the illegals presently living within the U.S. to sign up, sends the wrong signal to both resident and potential resident alike. The only problem with arresting every illegal alien that local law enforcement comes in contact with is finding someplace to house between 8 and 18 million people until they can be deported. It is extremely hard to justify criticizing enforcement of existing laws.
The economics of an illegal immigrant workforce most greatly benefit the employers of that workforce only as long as the employees are illegally in this country. Their status forces them to accept lower wages and stand mute under discriminatory and sometimes illegal actions of their employers. They constitute a growing underground economy that is estimated to produce billions in untaxed revenues every year. A guest worker program will not solve this problem if two other factors are not met. The borders must be adequately secured against the passage of undocumented persons and undocumented aliens living within the U.S. must be found and deported. Then, while as many of the unknown undocumented aliens living in this country are being identified and dealt with, documented aliens can be given temporary visas, to enter the U.S., for work, education, medical treatment, etc. Worker visas should be for a limited time and, in most cases, non-renewable. This would encourage foreign workers to apply for resident alien status and eventual citizenship.p>Unfettered illegal immigration will prove to be very harmful to national security in the short term and to economic and societal security in the long run. The owner of a house takes much better care of the premises than does a mere tenant. What has made this country great is not immigration, but immigrants whose ultimate goal was citizenship. br> — Michael Tobias br> Ft. Lauderdale, Florida /p>
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