Democrats & Liberals Archives

Border Politics

Distressed with the crises and scandals and corruption hitting his administration, President Bush decided to change the subject to the border between U.S. and Mexico. After two-and-a-half years of fighting the “war on terror” in Iraq, he has decided that the border here at home must be made more secure. To do this he is proposing 2 things: one measure to prevent aliens from entering the country, and another measure to encourage them to come here. Border politics, Republican style.

To keep aliens out Bush wants to hire 1,000 Border Patrol agents, deploy drone surveillance planes and other technology in the border region and build fences separating the two countries. This he hopes will keep undocumented visitors out.

Bush says:

We will not be able to effectively enforce our immigration laws until we create a temporary worker program."

In other words, to keep the undocumented out let's encourage them to come in with a "temporary worker program."

Let's not kidd ourselves. The only reason, or at least by far the main reason, the aliens do all in their power to cross the border into the U.S. is to get a job and make money. Take away their ability to make money here and they will not come.

Instead of Bush's mixed-message program, we ought to do 2 things:

  • CLOSE THE BORDER - We do not need all the stuff Bush is recommending. All we need do is go after employers who hire undocumented immigrants. Business people who employ the undocumented would pay a stiff fine for each undocumented employee. With no jobs to lure them across the border, the poor of Mexico and South America will not come

  • INCREASE THE MINIMUM WAGE - Bush says we need immigrants to do the jobs that Americans refuse to take. The only reason Americans refuse these jobs is because the pay is tiny and working conditions are horrible. Increase the minimum wage and make sure agricultural, restaurant and other workers receive this minimum and the jobs will be taken by Americans
Everybody knows that Republicans favor business people over all others. Republicans will not make employers responsible for hiring only those legally in this country. Business owners are not cops, they'll say. And they most definitely will not increase the minimum wage. Even though such a move will make more jobs available to Americans, Republicans will say the minimum wage reduces employment.

So we have border politics. Bush will agitate and agitate, the Republican Congress will produce an immigration law, but nothing much will change.

Posted by Paul Siegel at November 29, 2005 6:19 PM