Handouts? Go Beyond the Usual [Canards and Suspects]
However, with his latest discussion of illegal immigration he's reverted to the usual LAT set of canards and "experts". From "Handouts? Go Beyond the Usual Scapegoats" (link):
...even if the claim [in the recent CIS study regarding the costs of illegal immigration] is completely true, let's keep in mind that $10 billion is less than one-half of 1% of the federal budget. And considering this outfit's agenda, only a fool would accept its findings as the whole truth and nothing but the truth...
[Quote from National Immigration Forum deleted...] You don't have to trust the (National Immigration Forum), which has its own ax to grind in favor of legalization for some undocumented immigrants. Daniel Griswold, an economist with the libertarian Cato Institute, agrees that the study's analysis is incomplete.
"It doesn't take into account the broader economic context, which is the ability of employers to hire workers who are important to broad sections of the economy, from hotels to construction to retail, and agriculture as well," he said.
I don't trust the NIF, and I certainly trust Dan Griswold (freetrade . org/pubs/speeches/ct-dg040104.html) far less (etherzone . com/2002/antl120402.shtml). (See "Dogmatic Libertarians", nationalreview.com/comment/comment-fonte050902.asp). He is, after all, the author and/or inspiration for the Bush/Fox Amnesty. (Watch the beginning of the video here). And, he isn't identified as such in Lopez' column.
"They argue that a legalization program under President Reagan made immigrants more productive and raised their salaries, making them less of a drain."
It also resulted in millions of illegal aliens coming here, but, who's counting?
"Ruben Beltran, Mexican consul general in Los Angeles, noted that illegal immigrants often do jobs that others aren't dying to do. Come to think of it, I don't know a lot of native-born Californians of European descent who are clamoring for a chance to pick strawberries."
Another fine source. I wonder how many members of Mexico's European elite are picking strawberries in Mexico. And, perhaps instead of encouraging serf labor we should be finding ways to harvest strawberries that don't involve people being forced to retire at 45. (See "In the Strawberry Fields", agribusinessaccountability.org/page/201) Remember: plantations bad, technology good. (See "In Florida Groves, Cheap Labor Means Machines" and "The Mirage of Mexican Guest Workers")
If that doesn't work, I'm more than willing to allow all strawberry production to move offshore. Farmers can plant other crops.
"One thing people don't think about is the cost of consumer goods if these immigrants weren't working in certain sectors," Beltran said. "For the sake of discussion, if you have an iceberg lettuce on the shelf right now for 95 cents, what would the price be" if cheap labor were unavailable?
Wow. I have no idea. $10? $100? Wait, that doesn't make any sense, because labor costs account for 10% of the price of a head of lettuce. Watch those sources!
Please send him a short, polite letter: steve.lopez at latimes.com