Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Illegal Immigration equals exploitation

I'm generally in favor of liberal immigration policy. In a way, I suppose, it's like the idea of legalizing drugs. The simple fact that drugs are illegal supports a wide range of criminal behavior and vice that is probably worse than the drugs themselves. Illegal immigration involves the people who take money for transporting people, which supports a sub-culture designed to get illicit things over our borders. Once here it supports a black market in labor and abuse and I don't think that ignoring the problem because of sympathy for illegal immigrants necessarily does them any favors.

Sure, it's anecdotal, but I worked for two days at a place where myself and one black girl were the only ones who didn't speak Spanish and more than half the people there didn't speak English. Even if every single person was a citizen, no one was going to complain about working conditions and risk losing their job. How much more will an illegal put up with? I didn't have to put up with the pain that had me bawling by time I went home after work, so on my day off I got a different job. I volunteered to tutor English... the people who came were from Viet Nam... here legally. They described work conditions, hired by people who could speak their language, fellow immigrants or children of immigrants, and I know there were labor violations. Who is going to complain? How much more will an illegal put up with? My neighbor's in-laws from Peru recommended a housekeeper to her. When she paid the girl a fair wage (and probably on the low end of that, but more than minimum wage) the in-laws had a cow. Why? Because the girl *was* illegal and they were paying her almost nothing to clean for them. If she started to get paid what was fair, she'd stop working for them for nothing. The problem for her was language... she had to work for people she could talk to.

Failing to do something about illegal immegration and all the exploitation that goes with it is NOT being a friend to these people.


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