Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Industries of the future: Housekeeping, landscaping, and meat packing

Our economic dynamism is hardly being fueled by this:

Of the hotel industry's 1.5 million employees, 150,000 aren't supposed to be here, according to statistics gathered by the Pew Hispanic Center. In food manufacturing, also with 1.5 million, 210,000 have no right to work. Landscaping, Mr. Penry's line, has 1.2 million workers, 300,000 of them illegally in the country.
Virtually every third-world country has these industries. They do not add to America's global competitiveness. The less endowed natives our elites are spitting on can do all of these jobs. We have youths to do them as well. Agriculture is already subsidized directly to the tune of over $12 billion a year before even taking the indirect subsidy for low-skilled immigrants into account.

Tancredo's Caucus should more vociferously support employer sanctions and the enforcement thereof. HR 4437 is not particularly strong in this area. Businesses can claim good faith and gain exculpation from the actions of their subcontractors. Subcontracting work is by nature more transitory and harder to track. Subcontractors contract out further making the "good faith" argument easier to construct. Plus, 40% of illegals overstay visas. An impervious barrier alone won't stop this. Of course, without teeth the laws are meaningless:

Inspectors now need written permission from supervisors before entering a work site. Employers get credit for "good faith attempts" to live up to the law. Since 1996, when the focus of enforcement began to move away from work sites to the borders, the number of fines collected have dropped to nearly zero from a high of about 8,000.
A message of tougher enforcement will bolster support among blue collar folks. Pew's Political Typology report found that opposition to guest workers is strongest among "Disadvantaged Democrats" and "Conservative Democrats"--stronger than it is among any of the Republican/conservative categories. Working class natives do not want employers to use slave labor at the expense of their standard of living. Republican pols need to ditch the futile attempt at pandering to a Hispanic demographic that is never going to vote for them. It will cost them white votes. If a 10% gain in the Hispanic vote costs Republicans 1% in the white vote, it is a wash.

A new report reinforces the obvious:

The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) estimates that state and local costs associated with illegal immigration for public education, health care and incarceration, now about $36 billion a year, would balloon to $61.5 billion by 2010 -- a 70 percent increase -- and increase to $106.3 billion by 2020. As a result of an amnesty and a vastly expanded guest worker program, millions of current illegal aliens would gain legal access to government
programs and services, a FAIR analysis states.

Moreover, newly legalized aliens would be allowed to bring their dependents to this country, adding to the burdens on schools and public health care.
President Bush pines to have illegal aliens "emerge from the shadows". Allowing them second-class citizenship is bad. But allowing them full citizen would be positively disastrous. They would become eligible for exemptions and the EITC. In families with lots of dependents (and the average Hispanic household is 135% the size of the average white household) this will often result in a direct transfer from the government to the non-taxpayer in the form of a refund larger than the total taxes paid during the year.

Costs more difficult to quantify will have an even worse long-term impact. School test scores will continue to plummet, the wealth gap will grow, housing will become less affordable, crime and pollution will increase, ad infinitum. The negative effects will augment as the newly-minted citizens send for relatives back home. The demographics will make immigration reform impossible.

FAIR estimates California really takes it on the chin, with the cost created by illegals representing over $1,000 per citizen:

California $8.8 billion ($1,183 per native household)
Arizona $1.03 billion ($717 per native household)
Texas $3.73 billion ($725 per native household)
Florida $.91 billion ($315 per native household)
Taking Randall Parker's high-end estimates and inflating them to $10 billion, a wall could be constructed for less than $100 a household.

From the Reagan amnesty to today, the illegal population quadrupled. So does that mean when I hit forty the President and Senate will be looking for a way to bring another 50 million into the sunlight? Probably not, because by that time a senescent population of dullards will make the US a much less desirable location.

We need a wall, a merit immigration system, and publicized punitive actions taken against businesses that pass the cost of their low value-adding labor on to the net taxpayer.

++Addition++How surprising:
The shelter’s manager, Francisco Loureiro, said he has not seen such a rush of migrants since 1986, when the United States allowed 2.6 million illegal residents to get American citizenship...

Migrants are hurrying to cross over in time to qualify for a possible guest-worker program--and before the journey gets even harder.
Apprehensions are up:
South-central Arizona is the busiest migrant-smuggling area, and detentions by the U.S. Border Patrol there are up more than 26 percent this fiscal year — 105,803 since Oct. 1, compared with 78,024 for the same period a year ago. Along the entire border, arrests are up 9 percent.
The sympathetic AP reads into this that enforcement is becoming fierce. It laments that immigrants must face "armed US citizens". But more plausibly--and what the bulk of the referenced article suggests--it is the number of crossings that have increased. The numbers of rescues and deaths during attempted crossings lead one to that conclusion.

The definition of insanity is to repeat the same action over and over and then expect a different result each time. Either the majority of the Senate and the White House want the US to descend into the ranks of the third world or they are all insane. I prefer the latter but fear the former is more accurate.

(Immigration)

6 comments:

JSBolton said...

Here is an idea which might have some effect:

A brainy NRO reader proposes this ingenious self-executing response to companies that use illegal labor:

"If you really want to stop hiring of illegals cold without having to boost the ranks of enforcement staff by huge amounts, simply make this simple change to the tax code:

'Expenditures for wages and benefits of employees shall be deductible for tax purposes only for those employees that the employer can prove are legal residents of the US.'

"To make this work, the government must set up a database for matching an employee's name with his social security number that could be easily checked by employers. Confirmation numbers, similar to those issued by hotels and airlines, would be issued and kept in employee files along with the current I-9 forms that require picture ID and proof of legal residency. Exceptions have to be made for excellent forgeries, etc., etc. But you get the idea.

"We won't criminalize hiring of illegal immigrants. We'll just make it equivalent to persons who use their business expense accounts for procurement of personal benefits (alcoholic beverages, household items, lap dances, etc.) You can buy it. It's not illegal. Just ensure that you use your after-tax dollars to indulge in this activity."
...from NRO via Auster's VFR
It could be, though, that there would be a shift to cash or subcontractors who were outside of reporting and compliance. Similarly, illegals don't have to work, so long as the alternative welfare systems accomodate them. We're told that they're here just to work (even though that is a literal impossibility), while, in the countries where it is given more freely, proportions of immigrants on welfare go up to 80% and higher.

crush41 said...

John,

Interesting idea. It would essentially require dropping the idea of good faith but punitive fines would be replaced by a tax disadvantage, effectively increasing the cost of illegals by 35%.

Many contractors record payment to a few workers who then distribute in cash to others. There would be an outcry that such a change would push more people out of the grey and into the underground.

Anonymous said...

So crush41, your still racist. How's that still working out for you?

savage said...

Instead of name calling why don't you present a logical reason why the destitute being exported by a corrupt country in return for billions from subsidized workers is good for the USA. There are enormous externalities involved. Why should America's schools fail and city's go backrupt? Why press #1 for English, #2 for Espanol?

savage said...

It's "you're" not "your". Educated in Southern Cali eh?

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