Michael Dukakis' lunatic immigration plan

The former governor has thoughts. Here's my reply:

michael dukakis

If we raise the minimum wage, that will result in two classes of workers: American citizens lawfully employed at the minimum wage and higher, and illegal aliens illegally employed at the minimum wage and lower.

The difference between now and then is that there will be fewer of the former, and more of the latter.

Millions more illegal aliens will come here and will undercut American wages even further.

The same forces that prevent enforcement of our immigration laws now would simply go to work preventing enforcement of our immigration laws later. They might throw in working against enforcing our minimum wage and safety laws for good measure.

The Dukakis plan is like a fad diet, when everyone knows the only way to lose weight is to eat less and exercise more.

The only way to reduce illegal immigration is to enforce our immigration laws. That's something that Dukakis and the NYT editorial board have shown that they do not support.


The single best way to halt illegal immigration in its tracks is to come down like a load of bricks on the heads of those employers hiring them. I read recently that something like 127,000 letters a year go out from the IRS telling employers that they have employees using invalid social security numbers. Here's a great place to start: First, a warning; next, a fine; finally, a jail term and possibily seizure of business. We wouldn't have to do it but a few times before the rest shaped up.

I personally have no problem whatsoever with raising the minimum wage, but it has little to do with this issue. Some employers are paying below the minimum wage now anyway.

Remember the Herndon Day Laborer Site? After the official site opened, a number of unofficial day laborer sites (UDLS) sprang up all over the place. Volunteers had been following employers who picked up workers at the original 7-11 site and soon discovered that a lot of the employers using the UDLS's were not private citizens just looking for somebody to paint the livingroom as had originally been reported but instead were contractors who had not bothered to secure licenses and pay fees and taxes. These employers wanted no part of the official DLS. Obviously the workers were working off the books and who knows what they were being paid.

Not worth reading in general -- some 'I'll pull a few proposals out of my ass and you tell me how badly they stink' kind of writing.

But it did contain this bit:

Unless we erect something akin to the Berlin Wall, which would cost billions to build and police,...

Some people have already made reasonable estimates of how much it might cost to build a wall, and in general it is less than what we now spend in Iraq and Afghanistan in one month.

Also, a properly built wall, e.g. a real and substantial physical barrier with monitoring equipment, would not be that expensive to "police".

Not that I personally favor a wall.

There would be an advantage for illegals in that case, since employers could count on them not to inform on them for high-minimum wage violations.
Unemployment for citizens would be raised, while creating an artificial additional demand for illegals.