Sunday, October 18, 2009

Punish the employers: In contrast to elites, the ordinary folks have got it about right on illegal immigration:

U.S. voters want aggressive action to restrict illegal immigration, but they don’t think immigrants should bear the brunt of the enforcement efforts on their own. Most say the federal government and those hiring illegal immigrants also need to be brought into the discussion.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 56% say the policies of the federal government encourage people to enter the United States illegally. Only 27% disagree, and 17% are not sure.

Republicans and unaffiliated voters overwhelmingly believe that federal policies encourage illegal immigration. Thirty-two percent (32%) of Democrats agree, but 41% do not.

The view that the federal government is enticing people to violate the law is consistent with earlier surveys. Among voters who are angry about immigration, 83% are angry at the federal government. Only 12% direct their anger at the immigrants.

Voters want the laws of the land enforced but not just against illegal immigrants.

The new survey finds that 64% believe law enforcement officers should sometimes conduct surprise raids at places where immigrants gather to find work. An even larger number (71%) say those who do the hiring also should be arrested.

Earlier surveys have shown that voters overwhelmingly believe that those who employ illegal immigrants should be punished.


RobertHume said...

Most employers who hire illegals are also not morally at fault. They have to do so to compete with those few employers who do so willingly.

Ultimately it is the Federal government's fault; it is their job to level the playing field by enforcing the laws.

It's as if the government did not enforce the tax laws for businesses. That would force all businesses to violate the tax laws or go out of business.

I think this point is not made nearly often enough.

Even though the government should punish employers who hire illegals, the purpose of the enforcement is to protect the law-abiding businesses.

Anonymous said...

Robert Hume: Agreed 100%. If a man's competition hires illegals to hand drywall at $6 per hour, he has to either tell his guys who make $10 that they will be suffering a pay cut, or go hire illegals himself. His guys aren't going to accept less than $9, because they can make $8.50 clerking at a convienience store, and have a much less physically-demanding day. So what does he do? He is -forced- to hire the illegals. The government enforcing the laws is the only truly viable solution for him.

Sgt. Joe Friday said...

The problem isn't one only of illegal immigration. We let in 1,000,000+ LEGAL immigrants every year, and nearly all of them are poor and uneducated, and certainly not capable of doing much more than bussing dishes in a retaurant, washing cars, or hanging drywall.

The thing that nobody seems to get is that bringing in millions of those people legally is almost as bad as doing so illegally. The dysfunction, backward culture, and low human capital are the same, because the source population as basically the same.

RobertHume said...

Yes, I agree that the high numbers of legals is a serious problem. But it seems to me that we have no chance of reducing the numbers of legals until we stop the illegals. Then people can think clearly about the overall problem.

Once the illegal problem is under control, perhaps some President, even Obama, will have the courage to appoint a scholarly committee, like Clinton's Barbara Jordan committee, to come up with policies balancing environmental, social stability, and economic issues.

Sgt. Joe Friday said...

RobertHume - I think the problem in both regards may have to get worse before it gets better. Interestingly enough, former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani admitted that one of the reasons in his view that the illegal immigration problem has to be dealt with is because at some point he fears that the public will no longer draw a distinction between legal and illegal, and demand that all immigration be drastically reduced.

Giuliani may be on to something, although my guess is that it would take a terrorist strike from across our southern border or a large scale, out of control war between Mexican drug gangs to spill over into a SWPL suburb like Orange County or northern Virginia before Obama and congress would seriously consider tightening the border.

silly girl said...

"The thing that nobody seems to get is that bringing in millions of those people legally is almost as bad as doing so illegally. The dysfunction, backward culture, and low human capital are the same, because the source population as basically the same."

But we choose the legal ones, both in number and kind. We don't knowingly admit criminals.

It is easy to say you favor legal immigration because that could mean anything from 100 to 1,000,000 per year. Conveniently pollsters never query folks on appropriate magnitude, just vague stuff.

Sgt. Joe Friday said...

Actually SG, we don't choose the immigrants anymore. One of the key aspects of the 1965 law was the concept of "family reunification," which resulted in a system where a legal immigrant can bring in not only his/her immediate family (spouse and dependent children) but parents, brothers, sisters, and grandchildren. The process can then be repeated by the newly admitted family members, resulting in "chain migration," which is what has caused the numbers to explode over the last 40 years.

We aren't selecting who comes in any meaningful way anymore. The immigrants themselves are doing the selecting. This is wrong; I cannot think of a single other aspect of human activity where the outsiders get to decide who gets admitted to whatever group it may be. This is why we are doomed - at some point the outsiders will have sufficient numbers and political influence to neuter any further attempts at border and immigration control. As Reagan once said, "if you don't have borders, you don't have a country." That's where we're headed.

silly girl said...


I agree that the criteria are dumb, but we set the criteria and can change them. Legal, by definition means they follow the rules. You can't blame them for our stupid rules.

First we gov't to commit to enforce immigration laws. And then promptly we need to change the criteria.