Notes on Political Venality, Pomposity and Associated Stupidity.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Immigrants: Get Used to being Used

So we had a big celebration. Immigration Day. May Day.

Lots of people got to tell us how coming into our nation illegally is "a good thing."

I don't get it. Call me an old-timer, but illegal is illegal. If you do some wrong, you pay the price -- you don't reap the rewards.

Do I "feel their pain?" Yup. NPR ran a series of feel-good pieces on immigrants (and let's face it, we're talking mostly about Mexican's here) who had their lives changed by charging across the desert into the US. and working hard to "make a life for themselves and their families." It was nice stuff. Very heartwarming and all that. Like I said, I do feel for them. I understand their plight...and, if I were in their position, I might do the same thing.

But that doesn't make it right or just. And whether entering the US is a felony or a misdemeanor doesn't make much of a difference. If you enter a sovereign nation illegally, you have every right to expect that they'll kick you ass out. The French would, the Swiss would. Even the Swedes would.

Of course, the missing element in this debate is the political. Clearly, the GOP has been an enabler of the dash across the border. Mexican immigrants, who would normally work for peanuts in their home state, are more than willing to worked for the even smaller pistachios they get in the US. And this pushes down the wages which native-born or naturalized Americans might be paid for the same work.

The bottom line is the bottom line; Mexican immigrants, simply because they are in the US illegally and fear deporation or retribution, will work for lower wages and will eschew the employee protections they would deserve and expect as full citizens of our nation. They are, for all intents and purposes, a slave labor underclass, which the bosses in the GOP have allowed to proliferate -- so that their companies could avoid paying union or (in most cases) even livable wages. And now they want to buy off their votes with amnesty. A neat trick.

This entire debate is about money, not about nationality or language or the color of one's skin.

As it almost always does in America, the botton line is...the bottom line.