Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Immigrants and the Market

Bill Murchinson's latest article takes his fellow Republicans to task for not finding a market solution to illegal immigration reform.
With the demise of the Senate bill, the House bill stands as the GOP's sole, if just partially realized, contribution to the solution of a grave matter: the peaceful incorporation into American life of people who want -- gee-whiz, how about that? -- to work.

Even if there's no ideal solution, given justifiable fears as to the effects of opening doors too wide rather than just wide enough, it does the GOP no credit to come out against the marketplace, which is what happened in the House.
I have noted myself that the Republican party is in favor of market solutions except in those cases where it seems like the market solution won't go their way.

I will say, however, that the majority of what makes illegal immigrants attractive to American companies will melt away once they are here legally, even on a guest worker basis. Workers here legally will be paid more money, and will be entitled to safe working conditions and humane working hours. The whole attraction to the illegal workers now is that employers don't have to treat their workers fairly and the workers really can't do anything about it.

Even imagining the Guest Worker program will specifically allow the companies allowed to ignore American labor law (which is not a lock), they will be here openly. They can talk to people and complain. They can even rally and protest their poor treatment. And that's not going to be comfortable for the companies involved.

No comments: