Rome, NY Sucks

But At Least We're Not Utica

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Los Miserables

I'm sure people have a pretty good idea on my opinion of immigration. This time I thought I would write about in terms of the PR effort being waged by supporters of open borders / guest workers / high tech ID cards / paths to citizenship and any other form of general amnesty. Making illegal border crossing a felony didn't fly and the perception of "illegal" immigration is losing impact.

The story of immigration by "undocumented" workers is generally written this way. Mexicans who can't find work and need to help their families migrate to the US where they perform work that Americans won't do. After all, their only "crime" is coming to the US. This basically paints the migrant worker as a Hispanic Les Miserables where Valjean just wants to pick lettuce for his family back home and Javier wants to throw him in jail for it. Before you pull out your hanky, think about this.

Illegal immigrants do the work American's won't do.

Nope. For every illegal doing a crappy job in the US, there is a citizen (possibly a naturalized citizen) or more doing it. There are still more Americans doing construction, agriculture and housekeeping. Of course, the pay may be higher, since legal citizens have to be paid at least minimum wage and get things like breaks.

Illegal immigrants make it possible for us to have cheap produce, affordable restaurants, reasonable hotel rooms and domestic help.

Produce is cheap because of economics. The price of organic produce is going down and estimates are that legal agricultural workers would add about 10 cents to the price of a head of lettuce. People who use maids and housekeepers are often upper middle class and still use a significant part of that income to pay for the help. The lower income people who don't get those jobs are the ones hurt by illegal labor. I don't know about the rest of the country, but around here many restaurants are small enough to be family run, anyway.

Illegal immigrants are good, law abiding citizens.

We have no idea how true that statement is. A model citizen (of Mexico) could cross the border or a MS-13 gang member. That's why we have a border, so we can have an idea which is which. But here are some crimes committed by the most legal of illegal immigrants.

-Crossing the border. Even if it's not a felony, most of the border crossers pay a "coyote" to smuggle them across the border. These smugglers frequently run drugs at the same time to make the trip more profitable. They're also evading the police, so I'd stay off the same road they were on.

-Falsifying documents. False driver's licenses, false green cards, false Social Security numbers. There's some document fraud mixed in with identity theft right there.

-Occupancy. This is an obscure one. How does a worker who makes $5 an hour live in this country and send money back to their family? One way is to take a 1-2 family house and put 30-100 people in it. This frequently leads to the destruction of the residence and the lowering of property values. Plus, occupancy laws are there for a reason. High occupancy leads to unsanitary conditions, fire risk and the collapse of the structure.

-Insurance fraud. Driving uninsured is illegal in many states. Even if an illegal is insured, there is a distinct possibility that the information provided was doctored.

Illegal immigrants are so afraid of the police that they are even more law abiding than the average citizen.

Come on. Avoiding the police just makes for a nervous, shifty "citizen". Besides not reporting crimes, illegals may elect not to go to hospitals for things like communicable diseases.

In the end, illegal aliens are people, not better or harder working people. Since Americans aren't held to a loose honor system, neither should people who justify their behavior by the lax standards of our government.


  • At June 21, 2006 9:10 AM, Blogger NYCO said…

    You and I are not in agreement on aspects of this issue, but I appreciate your pointing out that some of the money immigrants are making is going straight back to the "Old Country" and this is possible for the potentially dangerous reasons you describe. (Even if young refugees from CNY's bad economy felt motivated to send money back to Syracuse or Rome for schools and hospitals, they probably wouldn't be able to because of their own housing costs.)

    However, for me the question is not so much "is them sending money back home a bad thing," because our own U.S. policies have contributed to a Western Hemisphere where that is bound to happen. The question is how do we make this inevitable process happen in an orderly and safer way.

  • At June 21, 2006 6:49 PM, Blogger RomeHater said…

    I have no problem with immigrants giving money back to their own contries. My problem is with illegal immigrants.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home