Thursday, December 29, 2005

WSJ vs. America

The WSJ editorial board blatantly smears Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo and the immigration reform crowd:

The House took a step in that direction this month by passing another immigration "reform" bill heavy with border control and business harassment and light on anything that will work in the real world.
The bill in reference is HR 4437, which passed last week 239-182. Because House members are closer to their constituents (representing smaller geographical areas in all but a few states, having less individual power, and facing reelection every two years) and enjoy less politically correct scrutiny than Senators, it is they who are more often the challengers of the status quo. Undoubtedly the resolution's force will be diluted when the Senate gets through with it.

Still, HR 4437 is incredibly encouraging. It calls for the end of the risible Visa Lottery system which randomly selects applicants to emigrate to the US from countries generally underrepresented in the American immigration pool like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria, and Yemen (terrorism anyone?), requires employers to check via a standardized electronic database system on the background and legality of prospective hirees, and fencing along the most porous areas along the southern border.

Apparently, the WSJ cheap labor rah rahs consider measures forcing US companies to comply with immigration laws to be "business harassment". That third world underskilled immigration has increased wildly since the Reagan amnesty in 1986 is, they say, the trump as to why stringent enforcement measures should not be enacted:

For the past two decades, border enforcement has been the main focus of immigration policy; by any measure, the results are pitiful. According to the Migration Policy Institute, "The number of unauthorized migrants in the United States has risen to almost 11 million from about four million over the past 20 years, despite a 519% increase in funding and a 221% increase in staffing for border patrol programs.
Exactly why a wall would be optimal--other measures have failed dismally. Currently the US Border Patrol has a little over 11,000 agents patrolling 19,000 miles of US land and sea periphery, most of whom are focused on the 1,951 mile US-Mexico border. Assuming that the average agent is on patrol one-fourth of the time (42 hours per week), each working BP person is responsible for just a hair shy of seven miles of border! Obviously some spots are more viscous than others and the lion's share of patrolling takes place in the four border states, but with as much as 20 million illegals inside the perimeter, the paucity of agents doesn't strike me as sufficient. Even if the entire BP force was concentrated on the US-Mexico border, each agent would still be responsible for more than two-thirds a mile. This is supposed to pass as an adequate panoply against potential terrorists and other pathological criminals?

The cat-and-mouse game simply isn't effective, and just adding more agents will at best slightly reduce the flow, not stop it. But the evidence for a barrier's effectiveness is certainly not lacking. California Congressman Duncan Hunter's barrier in San Diego has been such a resounding success that he, along with Tancredo, are spearheading the effort build similar fortifications across the entire border. Israeli's security fence has virtually eliminated terrorist activity--the continued attacks occur almost exclusively in areas that as of yet do not have fencing.

The Journal then shifts from tendentiousness to outright lying:

The legislation is aimed at placating a small but vocal constituency that wants the borders somehow sealed, come what may to the economy, American traditions of liberty or the Republican Party's relationship with the increasingly important Latino vote.
Perhaps the nation's second largest newspaper missed the recent Rasmussen poll that showed that a solid 60% of Americans favor the construction of a barrier along the southern border while only 26% oppose it. How long the economy can sustain net drains on it by largely unskilled third-worlders who consume more tax dollars than they pay is certainly a valid question, however! So are concerns about the net taxpayer's freedom from atavistic disease, increased criminal activity, cultural balkanization, economic liberty, and his desire to put in place a government that acts as a steward of the taxes he pays. And of course, decreasing Latino immigration will benefit the GOP as Republicans are incredibly lucky if they can nab 40% of the Hispanic vote.

Then we play a little semantics:

Perhaps the bill's most revealing feature is the one that makes it a criminal offense, rather than a civil violation, to be in the country illegally... This also smears the law-abiding aliens with the lawbreakers.
These putative "law-abiding aliens" are already lawbreakers. The immigration laws of this country are not magically eviscerated just because Jose hasn't (yet?) stolen your bike. While I do not blame illegals for taking a gamble by sneaking into the US to enjoy the economic efflorescence their corrupt and backward native countries are unable to provide them, the fact remains that they are in clear violation of the law.

Predictably, the op/ed contains the open border crowd's most ridiculous bromide of all:

...means creating legal pathways for foreign labor to enter the country and fill jobs Americans simply won't do anymore.
The world's top business newspaper is in dire need of a lesson in basic economics. These low-value adding jobs are jobs that Americans won't do at current wages. If businesses cannot find enough help paying $5.15 an hour, they'll have to pay more or develop other mechanisms to get the job done. But the work will certainly be completed. Go to Iowa, Maine, or Vermont (92.6%, 96.5%, and 96.2% non-Hispanic white, respectively)--the lawns are still getting cut, the trash is still being picked up. And the standard of living in these states is much better than in New Mexico or California (ground zero for illegal immigration). There's also a lot less crime in the aforementioned low-immigrant states (notice how high crime rates seem to flow from Mexico northward--pictures can be worth a thousand words).

Ironically, the very next WSJ op/ed excoriates corporate welfare. But cheap labor is subsidized labor (read corporate welfare). The net taxpayer must pick up the tab for the costs immigrants bring and do not even come close to paying back in taxes (education, medical, police, and fire services, pollution, infrastructure wear, language interpretation, ad infinitum) so big business (much of which, like the agricultural industry, is already heavily subsidized) can skimp on costs. Meanwhile, American competitors turn to technology to obselesce cheap human labor and all its baggage (Japan has over half of the world's functioning robots). When automation technologies eventually become more cost effective even in the short-run versus cheap human labor, US industry will be hopelessly unable to compete.


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