Importing poverty

Regardless of your personal feelings on the issues, there is an argument to be made that illegal immigration amounts to importing poverty, mostly by creating a foreign, low-wage underclass. Despite the political divide, business will be the major beneficiary of any immigration reform or lack thereof. We now live in a world where low-skill jobs need not be outsourced to take advantage of third-world coolie labor. Third-world labor now comes to our doorstep, at great risk, eager for exploitation. Ultimately, illegal immigration has the effect of keeping wages lower (largely a negative for the average American), but also of acting against inflation (positive). So, it’s really a mixed bag economically. Whatever the outcome of the current debate, the loser will be working class Americans and especially those who work for minimum wage. If there is no change in policy, poor Americans will continue competing against low-wage Mexicans who arrive in ever greater numbers. If illegal immigrants gain amnesty, 12 million immigrants will be thrust into the minimum wage realm and into the welcoming embrace of big business who needs cheap labor, but is too risk-averse to use illegal workers. The addition of 12 million minimum wage workers will drop wages for the bottom 25% of this country saving big business billions in payroll. From the business perspective, this is the perfect argument for a guest worker program, which would legalize illegal labor under the auspices of transitioning immigrants to citizenship while still allowing businesses to pay below minimum wages. The only real solution is to control immigration and to control how business uses immigrant labor. It is disheartening to see the political manipulation of otherwise well-meaning Americans who want their fellows to have the same opportunities they have, but this sentiment of brotherhood will come at no small expense to those who can least afford it. This is well understood by the non-hispanic poor (the african-american community seems solidly anti-illegal immigration) and not so well understood by middle class whites who have less to fear.

Comments are closed.