Illegal immigration: Five in One plan
The reason we don't solve the problem of illegal immigration is because too many employers in the US love hiring people who can't fight back as easily, and aren't as demanding for dignity or decent wages, as native born American workers. Really, isn't that the real reason we don't solve this problem?
Before I get to what I, ahem, humbly call the "Five in One" plan, read this article by Marc Cooper in the online magazine, TruthDig. It's not because Mr. Cooper agrees with everything I'm about to say, or perhaps anything, but it is a great overview concerning the policies and politics surrounding the issue.
My proposal has one big procedural demand, which could be a fault, or could be the key to building a winning coalition: If we don't simultaneously pursue the first four of the items of this proposal as a single, seamless garment of a policy, then the plan will not be supported by most Americans or those illegals that are already here. Here's the plan:
1. Amnesty for all workers that are here. They already live here, for goodness sakes. They serve us our food. Heck, they are mostly the ones who pick the food from the vines or slaughter the animals for meat. They clean up the mess our grandparents and our sickly make at nursing homes and hospitals. They mow our lawns. And they pay into Social Security and get little if anything back because they use someone else's Social Security card number.
2. Labor law reform to make it easier to form and join unions. Once we have all workers (or most of them anyway) as citizens, we should make it easier for all workers in the US to organize at their workplaces. No more "certifications" that follow elections. The simple streamlined rule (that exists in most other civilized nations) is this: Workers vote through a secret ballot at their workplace. If the union wins, the employer has to immediately start negotiations with no right to ask stupid questions like "Well, is this group of workers really a 'bargaining unit'?" This question is used by employers mostly as a stalling tactic designed to identify the leaders, fire them, and kill the union during this economic fetal stage. Yes, it is an abortion of the union. The proposal for one election is called "card check" elections because the workers secretly fill out cards to see who wants a union or not.
3. Build the freakin' wall already. And build it at the Canadian as well as Mexican border. It's a great government works program. And if we have unions with prevailing wages, and hire American born or naturalized citizens, we create wealth through spreading wealth. Note who in the US is against the wall: The Chamber of Commerce and the Wall St. Journal. That's also the same crew who support a "guest worker" program, which is just legalizing illegal immigration and codifying the lowering of wages. Separate question: Will the wall work to keep out illegals? It won't be perfect, especially if we don't have guards to check out tunnels. But really, the wall will work well enough if we...
4. Increase sanctions against businesses that tend to hire illegal immigrants. Make the agricultural, restaurant, and construction industries, for starters, actually check social security numbers. The technology is there. Just make 'em use it, dammit. If the businesses get caught, fine 'em and if they are repeat offenders, jail time for the business leaders will be a fine example of deterrence.
5. Aid to Mexico--especially if it elects, as president, Lopez Obrador of the PRD. Why? Because he's a New Dealer at heart. Most Mexican immigrants, for example, don't want to leave their homes when first deciding to go "el Norte." They leave home because the Mexican economy continues to suck after 10 or more years of the NAFTA. A nation that buys what it makes and makes what it buys is more stable than one that imports its basic products--at least over the long run after it loses its ability to make things.
So, there it is. Something for everyone. But, let's be clear: pursuing one or two of these proposals without pursuing the others creates discrimination against immigrants or against native born workers--or punishes employers without limiting the supply of workers who are desparate to work.
Again, why is there not a consensus here that is effective in lessening illegal immigration? Because the current system works for employers, and, unfortunately, it "works" for too many native born or naturalized upper middle class and upper class folks in America. I put quotes around "works" for the individual upper middle and upper class folks because these groups then have to pay more taxes when their servants, gardeners, hospital workers, waiters, et al. have to go to emergency wards as they wait till they are really sick; don't have their kids in school; live in areas where their kids are likely to be gang-bangers than moving up the economic ladder with what we would call "legitimate" jobs or business development, etc. These are costs, folks, that ought to be factored in when considering the costs of changing the system.
Now, is this all so hard to understand? No. Is it easy to implement? No. It takes time and it won't be perfect--because nothing ever is. But I can say this: The Five in One proposal will work better for most American and Mexican citizens most of the time, which is darn good for any human endeavor. The only thing I can't tell yet is whether this helps Canadians, too. Let's worry about that another time, after we begin the implementation of the Five in One program.