Monday, March 13, 2006

WSJ's pathetic plea for open borders

The WSJ's defense of open borders is so fallacious that its editorial board cannot even finish a single op/ed without fabrication. They've had two op/eds in the same edition that have been contradictory, like when the board ridiculed the idea of a wall on the US-Mexico border and then in the next editorial went on to praise the effectiveness of the Israeli-Palestinian security barrier, but this is a new nadir:
The immigration debate is finally picking up some Beltway steam, which is long overdue. The problem is that it's moving in a direction that could do real damage to the economy, not to mention to the Republican Party.
No kidding! Across the political spectrum there is widespread support for shutting down illegal immigration from the southern border. Sixty percent of Americans support the construction of a physical barrier and 68% support using the US military to back up the Border Patrol. Serf labor subsidized by the net taxpayer for the benefit of inefficient and uncompetitive American big business is definitely straining the economy, as the poverty rate and national debt continue to grow in tandem. The Republican Senate and the Republican White House are both moving in the wrong direction indeed.

Oh, but the Journal was actually talking about the House, where tough HR4437 has been kicked over to the Senate. Apparently the WSJ, which does not seem to understand basic economics when they spew the tired and fallacious bromide that illegals are "doing jobs Americans won't do," believes that an increased number of Hispanics, who vote three-to-two in favor of Democrats, are going to somehow help the Republican Party. The inanity continues:
Any sensible immigration reform would focus not just on keeping illegals out of the country, but also on why they're coming and how to get the estimated 11 million illegals already here out of the shadows. Yet last year the House whooped through a bill that expands enforcement and nothing else.
That is a non sequitur. If a border reform measure focuses on halting the flow of illegals, why is its merit contingent upon what is done about illegals already here?
'There are starlings in the attic!'
'Where are they coming in from?'
'The hole in the wall above the window!'
'Quick, patch up the hole!'
'No! Not until we figure out what to do with the starlings that are already inside.'
'But more starlings keep coming in!'
Dealing with the illegals already here is certainly a need, but that it hasn't yet been dealt with is not an argument not to deal with curtailing the flow of more illegals. If the boat has sprung a leak, the first thing you do is plug the leak. Bailing the water while more continues to flow in is futile.

But since we're on the subject, why not take a page out of the book of a revered Republican, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and ship illegals out by train back to their home countries (a la Operation Weback)? "Oh, but the economy would collapse! A full quarter of farm workers are illegal," goes the standard open-borders line. Yet the agricultural industry is subsidized to the tune of $12.5 billion a year. And then these illegals make $20,000 under the table and pay much less in taxes than they consume in government services. They can send their kids to school (close to $10,000 per, another $3,000 or so for ESL), use our roads, infrastructure, and hospitals, pollute, land in jail, consume fire fighter or policy services, depress wages for natives, ad infinitum. So this industry is subsidized twice. Sorry about the increased crime, atavistic disease, and balkanization of your homeland. But at least Tyson and the country of Mexico are getting a good deal!

Says the Journal, in talking about limits on stays for guest workers:
That kind of forced turnover could mean huge labor disruptions for U.S. businesses, and the likely result would be more illegal aliens, as some workers exit the program and enter the black market rather than returning home.
No, with adequate border enforcement and stiff fines for employers of illegals the result would not be more aliens. It would be innovation. Increases in technological efficiencies will lead to a reductions in the need for low value-adding migrants who are net costs to society and do nothing to make the US more competitive globally.

Painful equivocation comes next:
Under current law, foreign workers in high-tech fields can extend their stay if an employer sponsors them for a green card. Why should the same rules that apply to Intel's engineers not also apply to Marriott's chambermaids and California's farm hands?
Because Intel's engineers add more value, have higher IQs, are better educated, and do much more for the competitiveness of the American economy than do warm bodies that do jobs that any American can and would do if the price of such work rose. It's much easier for the Marriott to find a chamber maid among natives than it is for Intel to find an engineer. Maybe the hotel will have to raise its wages a bit, but so what? Why should you and I pick up the tab of the chambermaid for the benefit of the Marriott's bottom line? If the Intel engineer is a net liability, then the same logic would apply, but he's likely not.

The board then goes on to voice support for the disastrous McCain-Kennedy amnesty bill followed by an outright lie:
None of this will appease the small but vocal "no amnesty" crowd, but restrictionists put forth no solutions other than greater militarization of the border and harassment of employers, which we know from experience won't work alone. If the real goal of immigration reform is to have people "obey the rules," let's make sure the rules are sensible.
'Small but vocal'? A large majority of Americans support the construction of a barrier and of militarization of the Mexican border (just as Mexico militarizes its southern border to keep out migrants from much poorer central American countries). And, not surprisingly, the US public is opposed to amnesty 55%-34%, and even Hispanic oppose it 51%-49%. A vociferous 'minority' indeed. And what experience shows us that barriers do not work? The Israeli border fence? The Berlin wall kept people in, not out, so that's a fatally flawed comparison. Eisenhower's operation moved a million people out in a year. Duncan Hunter's wall has been such a resounding success that he's helping lead the charge to expand it. So where is this experiential evidence showing that HR4437 won't work? It is the unpopular status quo that has so obviously failed.


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