[BP Agent Lee Morgan] criticizes the apprehensions as a waste of time and resources. "They're just poor people trying to feed their families," he shrugs... "What if the bastards come across here in Arizona and I don't catch them because I'm so busy chasing a busboy or a gardener that I don't have time to do my job--my real job--catching terrorists?..."Let's pause here and examine Morgan's choice of words. Don't they sound a bit familiar? What he says sounds an awful lot like what Bush has said on several occasions, and consider this bit from a Wall Street Journal editorial:
Morgan's personal nightmare is one urgent reason why all Americans, no matter what their politics, should support President Bush's plan to retake control of our southern border. The White House proposal, introduced in early 2004 and allowed to drop from sight during the election year, is back on the table. The president laid out his ideas again in the State of the Union and is reportedly planning a major initiative to take the issue to the public later this spring...
"Somehow draining the terror swamp in the Middle East seems a lot more vital to U.S. security than stopping busboys from crossing the Rio Grande."And, this bit from Bush ("Bush now self-parody"):
I want to remind people that family values do not stop at the Rio Grande river. People are coming to our country to do jobs that Americans won't do, to be able to feed their families.Is it just a coincidence that Morgan spouts the administration's lines and uses the same examples as the WSJ? He's a frequent quote source for reporters, but, not to impugn his credibility, I suspect there's something we're not being told. Note also that this bit about Morgan was repurposed from an earlier Jacoby speech.
...But the question is what to do about this other, illegal America--and the fact is that the president has the best idea, arguably the only idea that can possibly work. Many of his critics believe that the answer is to turn off the immigrant influx. We should, they say, make the necessary economic adjustments and do without the imported labor. It's an option; with enough resources, we probably could stop the flow. But are the American people prepared for the changes that would come with that decision? The likely economic sacrifice is incalculable: not just a few extra pennies on the cost of lettuce, but forfeited growth all across the economy, on a vast scale. In many industries today, growth depends on foreign laborers, who filled one in every two new jobs created in recent years. Then there would be the cost of enforcement--a cost in dollars but also in the way we live. Just ask experienced agents like Lee Morgan: Cutting off illegal immigration would require thousands more men on the border, routine sweeps in every city, roadblocks, roundups, massive deportations, a national ID card, and more...Whoa! That's a lot of straw you've got there. Most of those wouldn't be needed if we'd just enforce the laws against hiring illegal aliens. As pointed out many times, if there were no jobs (and perhaps no public services) for them, most illegal aliens would simply self-deport. Those in the same class as Tamar can hire citizen or legal immigrant nannies, busboys, and gardeners.
(FAIR comment: The difference between rum smuggling and alien smuggling is that the latter involves people rather than a commodity. These are people whose effects on our society may last for the rest of their lives and represent a major cost to the nation's taxpayers, distorted labor market conditions that harm the poorest Americans, a drain on the economy because of money sent home as remittances, deterioration of services and unsustainable population increase. It is also important to recognize that, unlike with prohibition, there has been no real effort to enforce our immigration law since it was made unlawful to hire illegal aliens in 1986.)
Immigration2005a · Wed, 02/23/2005 - 11:34 · Importance: 1