The corporate Establishment's new hunger for the undocumenteds' business could have far-reaching implications for America's stance on immigration policy, which remains unresolved. Corporations are helping, essentially, to bring a huge chunk of the underground economy into the mainstream. By finding ways to treat illegals like any other consumers, companies are in effect legalizing -- and legitimizing -- millions of people who technically have no right to be in the U.S.I believe it's time for a little creative destruction. If Business Week is going to print articles promoting illegal immigration and what amounts to government corruption, then the only people who subscribe to their magazine should be those who support that view. Let them reemerge as Semana de Negocio Para Indocumentados.
What's more, 84% of illegals are 18-to-44-year-olds, in their prime spending years, vs. 60% of legal residents. Corporate sales and profits will get a shot in the arm if more of them move out of the cash economy, put their money in banks, and take out credit cards, car loans, and home mortgages. U.S. gross national product could get a boost, too, since consumers with credit can spend more than those limited to cash.
More undocumented immigrants paying income and property taxes would help ease the taxpayer strain for the schools, health care, roads, and other services illegals use. Crime could decline, too...
Bank officials were even more troubled by a letter from a Washington group called Friends of Immigration Law Enforcement (FILE), which opposes illegal immigration. It threatened to sue the bank under a federal law that prohibits the harboring of illegal aliens and racketeering. By providing mortgage loans that help illegals buy houses, says FILE Executive Director Craig Nelsen, New South is aiding their ability to remain illegally. In June, the bank delayed a broad rollout of Casa Mia pending a legal opinion on potential liability.
Still, such confrontations are relatively rare... Big U.S. companies' embrace of undocumenteds as consumers has intensified as it has become clear in recent years that -- no matter how loudly the anti-immigration lobby complains -- the U.S. isn't about to deport illegals en masse.
Sun, 07/10/2005 - 18:05 · Importance: 9