Inherently Different

illegal alien

I read a post on a blog I frequent that  said, "These people are breaking. the. law. They sneak into the country, our tax dollars are being used to provide them with college education and health care, and a multitude of other services, and they are not contributing back in the form of taxes, because they get paid in cash. Because they’re illegal."

Of course, that isn’t entirely accurate. Even illegal immigrants who get paid under the table contribute to the economy by purchasing goods and services, renting homes and apartments, and generally being consumers. For the most part, because they are illegal, they are less likely to partake of generally available programs that might bring their illegal residency to light. But aside from that, what most people who oppose illegal immigration fail to realize is that our economy relies on cheap labor to function effectively.

The US economy is set to add 7.7 million low-skilled, low-wage jobs between 2000 and 2010, and these are jobs that appeal to an increasingly small number of Americans. Without an influx of immigrants to fill these jobs, the economy will slide. It won’t fail, but I can guarantee that it will seem like it is. Cheap labor and its availability has a significant impact on our economy.

An article I read once presented our dependence on cheap, immigrant labor this way… He called it the golden arch analogy… without access to cheap migrant labor, a Big Mac, which currently costs about $3 would be cost $5. This is because migrant labor literally makes our Big Macs. They pick the vegetables, pack the meat (meatpacking plants of the Midwest are almost exclusively employ illegal immigrants because no one else in their right minds would work in such an unpleasant environment), harvest the grains for the bread, etc.

There are other products that would also be adversely affected in a similar manner. Everything we consume would be 40-50% more expensive. People don’t realize what cheap labor means to the US economy. Now I agree that there needs to be limits and that we should take a hard look at how porous our borders are, but our problems are not really with illegal immigrants.

To blame illegal immigrants for increased crime is just nonsense… saying that is akin to claiming that only Mexicans and African Americans commit crimes. It is deluded and borderline racist. I don’t think we should coddle immigrants, but at the same time I don’t believe immigration, legal or otherwise, is to blame for American problems (crime, taxes, etc). One need only look at the amount of money we spend for the current war, the war on drugs, and long term imprisonment of violent criminals to know that what we expend providing for illegal immigrants is a drop in the bucket.

7 thoughts on “illegal alien”

  1. Exactly! Immigration ( illegal and legal) became an issue here during last year’s election and drove me to distraction. Its simply racism in disguise. Treasury statistics show that over a 5 year time period immigrants ( legal and otherwise) are net contributors to the economy. End of arguement.

    I intend, if I can get away it – by which I mean whether the local bigots will tolerate it) employ only eastern euros and south africans in my business. Why? They aren’t cheaper; they get the same wage. BUT they are generally better qualified, work far harder and take their careers serioulsy. Lastly they are a fuck sight more honest than these lousy Brits.

    This anti-immigrant thing makes me fucking sick. Pah!

  2. This isn’t a topic I’ve thought much about – weird, since I lived most of my life right next to the border – but everything you say makes sense – as usual 🙂

    You too Limey! (Sorry, I’m not bitchy today.)

  3. Excellent points! Crime is an economic issue, not a racial issue. Poor people commit more crimes, and a large froaction of African Americans and other minorities live below the poverty line.

    We live in a world where a rich person will pay $8,000 for a good seat to the Superbowl, but children starve. Our priorities are not fucked up, they are non-existant. If our society creates a niche that illegal immigrants fill, then we need to address the core issues that create that niche.

  4. Exactly Ash… i think you hit the proverbial nail on the head. I mean it is a chicken/egg argument in so much as if there wasn’t an opportunity for these immigrants that they willingly fill, then there wouldn’t be an immigration problem in the first place.

  5. In the last couple of years, the UK has been invaded by Eastern Europeans (now that Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic etc are part of the EU, they don’t need visas). The tabloids got very steamed up about it. But it very quickly became apparent that the new arrivals were were rather keen to WORK and CONTRIBUTE to the British economy. Now, in London, if you want a new roof or boiler, you call a Polish firm, because the job will be done to high standards, will take half as much time as it would with some shifty bloke called Kevin who turns up in a rusting Ford Transit, and won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Suddenly the media has done an about turn and declared the Eastern Europeans to be absolutely delightful people, hardworking and honest. Funny ‘eh? personally, i’ve never understood how a country that has systematically been invaded by Celts, Romans, Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Normans can have any kind of a problem with immigration. There wouldn’t be an England without foreign types looking over the sea and thinking “That looks alright. Maybe I’ll give it a try.” Is the US so different?

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