Obama Immigration.

How Both Parties Ignore the Problem Underlying Illegal Immigration

Since Obama’s constitutionally suspect immigration executive order on Friday, the old arguments have been trotted out in favor or against different reforms advocated by either side. One of the more annoying aspects of the debate is how most people ignore the main problem propelling illegal immigration because it’s deceptively simple: over-regulation.

Those who argue that we should seek a bipartisan moderate immigration reform either willfully or stupidly ignore the main reason that we have illegal immigration in the first place. The clearest pull factor that beckons illegals to fill our jobs is completely market-driven.

The regulations that I’m referring to are all the onerous and befuddling laws regulating the employment of Americans, especially with low-wage, entry-level work. Anyone who has hired an employee for any length of time will know what I mean. Just look at Social Security benefits for instance – if I hire someone, I have to pay 10% above what I pay the employee into their Social Security. Now, because of the way it’s structured and how government keeps “borrowing” from the coffers, no one knows if that money is ever actually going to get paid back. So it’s basically tossing another 10% tax into the ever gaping maw of government.

Throw in unemployment tax, healthcare, and everything else, as well as the minimum wage requirement, and it’s easy to see how all this regulation keeps employers from the headache of looking for help.

Now, in no way am I excusing the fact that employers cheat the government and bring down market value of wages by doing this, but it cannot be overlooked that much of the problem could be solved if there were less regulation preventing them from hiring Americans.

Much in the same way, I had hoped when the recession hit that there would be calls for some deregulation of the insanely labyrinthine building codes to help the building sector recover. No such luck.

As someone who has experience in the construction sector in California, I do think there is some truth to the argument (too often used as a taunt) that illegals do some of the hardest, least-paying work that Americans won’t do. However this ignores the free market cause of such conditions – part of the reason these jobs have such low wages is precisely because there’s an overabundance of poor illegals willing to do the work for any wage because we pay at nearly middle-class levels compared to Mexico and other countries.

I remember asking an illegal immigrant from Tijuana just what the wage exchange rate was. He said that he could earn in America in an hour what it would take him an entire day to earn in Mexico – if he could even find employment.

So the way that both parties ignore the free market problem is this – any attempt to provide any path to legalization or citizenship (if you don’t know the difference, you need to) without closing down the borders simply won’t solve the problem and will pull more illegals over our borders.

The simple reason for this is that once you legalize the immigrants who are here, they immediately become just as onerous to hire as American citizens – much of the appeal of hiring them is lost. They jump up a rung on the employment ladder, compete with Americans, drive those wages down, and leave a gulf of unfilled jobs they previously occupied. What happens to those jobs?

Well, unless the source of illegal labor is absolutely shut off, the word will go out that there are tons of new jobs in Los Estados, and all you have to is make it across that border.

Originally posted at Ricochet
Also: VIDEO of Obama being interrupted at the Rose Garden

  • Wigglesworth

    Your 2nd to last paragraph sums it up perfectly.  Once the illegals become legal then that bumps them up the employment chain where they will compete even more directly with Americans.  A whole new batch of illegals will then be used to fill in the gap at the bottom.

  • Laurence Burton

    So, SooperMexican’s solution is to “seal the border.”  Sounds easy, doesn’t it?  

    Except that around 40% of illegals (by most estimates) do not cross the border.  They simply overstay their visas.  So…  So much for that idea.  “Sealing” the border just is not a viable solution.

    Here’s the real solution, in just two easy steps –
    1. Provide a path to legality (not citizenship) for current non-criminal illegals who are willing to pay a hefty fine for having circumvented our immigration laws.  That takes care of the ones that are here – brings them out of the shadows – ends the shadowy black market of illegal labor.

    2. Dramatically increase the allotted amount of legal immigration from Mexico and Central America.  This simple market-oriented approach will effectively put a stop to future illegal immigration.  No need for expensive border control – it’s a true market solution based on freeing the movement of labor from government regulation.  Will it work?  Well, actually it already has.  Until 1967 that was essentially the policy of the United States and “illegal immigration” at that time was practically unheard of.

    The only problem with this solution: Republicans can be counted on to never let it happen.

  • john marzan

    What the U.S. needs to do is to stop providing free K-12 education to illegals. Number 2 is to replace Birthright Citizenship with Jus Sanguinis. Then create a Saudi style guest worker program between the U.S. and Mexico. Once all of that is done, fencing the entire border is not necessary. And you start legalizing all the non-recent illegals.

    i’m not that upset about mexican workers looking for work in the U.S., but why should U.S. pay for their children’s free K-12 education again?

    What Obama did makes things worse. Not only is it unconstitutional, but it also incentivizes future illegals to do the same thing (bring their kids to the U.S. and stay there illegally) knowing that the american public will be forced to introduce another DREAM act v.3 lets say… within in 15 years. 🙂

  • amyshulk

    I thought you were going to point out how onerous it is to  come here legally, and how that creates {in part} the rule breakers.

  • GrammytheYeti

    I’ve long held the belief the US needs a dual minimum wage system.  (Built on the premise we can’t ever get rid of the minimum wage/SS system unfortunately).   Living in South Texas my entire life, I’ve learned that illegals comprise most of the back-breaking labor industry (agriculture, construction, etc). They work for under-the-table wages and do what they can to send money home (to Mexico) for their families. They are here. They have children here. They’re not going anywhere. So what to do?

    1st – Secure the border.2nd – Create guest worker programs so every non-US citizen is ID’d.3rd – One of the deals to become a guest worker is to be actively enrolled in US citizenship classes.4th – Pay guest workers a $4 an hour working wage (no increases over time) with the promise that when US citizenship is legally attained, their pay goes to $8 an hour with longevity increases if they stay with the company. Guest workers will be subject to a slightly higher income tax rate than US citizens.5th – Lower the US citizen employment tax on employers to less than HALF what it is now and raise it if they choose to employ guest workers. This provides an incentive for the employer to hire US citizens and also encourages them to keep trained guest workers who become citzens.6th – Offer government preventive health and emergency services to guest workers with the promise of increased employer health benefits to them and their families when they become citizens.7th – If they commit a misdemeanor, they receive a 1 year extension after the completion of their citizenship courses until citizenship can be received. If they commit a felony, they are out of the program and shipped home.

    The idea is to make the issue of becoming a US citizen an enticing idea and make it a win/win for employers.

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