Immigration in the U.S. 

Immigration in the U.S.

Not really my issue--Canada simply doesn't have a large population of "illegals" who may have no particular ambition or skill other than the desire to be here. We test and screen our folks, big time.

But there's a lot of discussion about this on the net. Mickey Kaus is excellent. He wants tougher border enforcement now, and maybe some degree of amnesty later, when it doesn't seem to be simply caving in. He wonders why Democrats don't go for this--especially since African American males are probably the ones most hurt by illegals working for low wages and no benefits. Employers might prefer to hire Chicanos rather than blacks, even at equal wages.

Why then is the Democratic leadership pretty well monolithically opposed to any crackdown on illegals at all? Blacks are their most loyal voters, by a long way. Isn't there a danger of blacks looking to politicians who will protect their interests in the marketplace? The unsettling thought is that the Democrats and the blacks have a corrupt bargain: let's keep saying the system is racist, and can't possibly work for blacks; by way of illegal immigration, let's even ensure the system is skewed away from employing black males. This will be a self-justifying policy to maintain and extend government programs, favourites of Democrats--which will continue to seem the only hope for blacks.

Newsday tippy-toes toward an explanation:

Because of the economic impact, many businessmen, often backers of the GOP, are in favor of keeping the workers, but want a stable work force instead of trying to find and train new workers. Some unions, generally more sympathetic to Democrats, also want a stable work force, which they can then organize and for whom they can try to win better wages and benefits.

So some businesses and some labor unions are on the same side? And some Democrats are on the same side as Bush and other Republicans, but they are opposed by other Republicans?

In general, yes.

Remember there are several broad questions that serve as wedges:

What to do about workers currently in the U.S.?

What to do about those who want to come to the U.S.?

What can be done to protect the borders and improve national security?

The issues have divided the Republicans, with many of the more conservative legislators opposing what they call an amnesty for workers already here, and favoring more enforcement on the borders. They also oppose a guest worker plan, proposed by the president.

OK, but as Kaus asks: why doesn't it divide the Democrats as much or more? Why do the unions want people in the U.S. who are largely unorganized, undercutting the lowest paid people? To scare their diminishing membership into accepting offers from management that would have been rejected only a few years ago?

I just don't get it.

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