...The hallowed assimilationist formula has too few overt defenders these days - even though measured, legal immigration, English emersion, multiracialism instead of multiculturalism, and integration have ensured that past legal immigrants from Mexico are among America's finest citizens.Now please see "The liberal case against illegal immigration, Part 2" for more.
The laissez-faire right still lectures on open borders as if it were a matter of robust lawful immigration - emphasizing global competitiveness that accrues from cheap labor. The minimum wage, not illegality, supposedly is its only problem: if only the self-correcting market could be set free to adjudicate wages, $2 an hour might not tempt any more from rural Mexico.
The therapeutic left will not even talk of "illegal immigration" - taboo nomenclature that supposedly denotes racism. "Undocumented workers" is the politically correct terminology, even though not all aliens are working or simply misplaced their certification.
If employers count on inexpensive industrious laborers in the shadows, chauvinists envision a revolving, but still permanent unassimilated constituency to enhance their own agendas. In response to the tired rhetoric, perhaps it is better to envision illegal immigration from Mexico not as a question of divisive politics, but of collective morality. Is it ethical for the Mexican government to export annually 1 million to 2 million of its unwanted citizens to avoid long-overdue reform - hoping to free itself of dissidents and earn $12 billion in subsidies from its poorest abroad? No wonder Mexico talks of the problem in terms of U.S. imperialism in lieu of its own cynicism.
Is it moral for employers to count on illegal industrious workers, usually without English or education, to undercut the wages of American citizens - as if a laborer remains youthful and hale in perpetuity with no need of social entitlements when disabled or impoverished years later? No wonder employers claim that they are only providing a service to Mexico's poor...
Immigration2005a · Thu, 01/20/2005 - 19:16 · Importance: 1