Friday, January 11, 2008

Illegal Aliens

I was watching a news report on the Latino vote (Latino always being perfectly accented of course) and how it will affect the primaries and the election. It seems that for them the talk about illegal aliens or "undocumented workers" is really just "bashing brown people." Even for the Puerto Ricans who are citizens from birth, they see illegal aliens as their "brothers." But this is really a nonsensical position. Talking about the problem with illegal immigration is not bashing Latinos, rather it is recognizing that there are people who are coming into our country illegally and this quite specifically does NOT include Puerto Ricans.

There are currently 12-20 million illegals here in the States. Due to the large amount of illegals in the country and because they are largely uneducated (tho not unskilled) what we have seen is a suppression of wages in all labor markets. Be it factories, construction, slaughterhouses, or janitorial the jobs requiring labor have all seen their wages drop or remain stagnant (which means they drop due to inflation.) These are male dominated industries and therefore affects men more so than women, and has no doubt had a large impact on the black community, which was also pointed out in the report I was watching. Many of the jobs that the Blacks have held they hold no longer as illegals will do the job for much less. Nor do the illegals complain as they quite simply can't complain. Their employer would just fire them and there can be no legal recourse when you aren't here legally to begin with.

It is impossible to say just how many jobs those illegals hold as they are "undocumented" and companies cover them up to stay out of trouble. And some of these jobs cater almost exclusively to the Latino/illegal community, things such as the local carnicerias which don't get much business from the White, Black or Asian communities, so in some aspects some of these jobs are irrelevant when figuring out the economic impact of removing these illegals from the country.

Another point that needs to be considered is just how much money LEAVES the US via these "undocumented workers." Remittances is the 3rd largest source of foreign income for Mexico, just after maquiladora (the assembly-for-export sector) and oil. In 2005 that total was 20.6 billion. But of course it isn't just Mexico. A total of 75 billion (in 2002) leaves our economy every year, Mexico is just the largest single destination. Now when a dollar circulates it is said to circulate a total of seven times, which would give us a total of 450 billion in wealth that isn't happening here in the States. And please don't be fooled into thinking that that money will buy US products because it won't. It will buy local goods or Chinese goods, just like what we buy. That money is forever lost to the US economy, it will never buy goods here, never create jobs here, never sustain jobs here and will never pay taxes here.

There are social issues that need to be considered. The main issue is that we really ARE headed into a recession, and that means that society is going to look for scapegoats. One can argue whether or not it is right, but you might as well argue against the sun rising. Its going to happen. And with the moral structure of this country in such horrendous shape there will be violence, and that violence will beget even more violence. But it can be reduced if we act now in helping the illegals self deport. Some states are already passing and enforcing legislation that is encouraging the illegals to "self deport." Oklahoma, Colorado and Arizona are among the vanguard in that respect. Arizona is particularly strict. If a company knowingly hires and illegal their business license will be suspended for 10 days, while a second violation could mean their business license is revoked entirely.

The effects of these new laws have not yet been seen, nor can it be known where these illegals will go, be it back to their country of origin, or more likely to another State. But what is certain is that the illegal immigration problem will be resolved one way or another. Personally I prefer the most peaceful method possible as it would be both peaceful and most likely it would also be gradual which would allow the economy to adjust to the loss of workers and the reassigning/adjusting of economic priorities that will no doubt take place.