Tamar Jacoby: "Stop chasing that busboy"
Tamar Jacoby becomes a caricature of herself (again), offering "Stop chasing that busboy" (via this). That's part of an online debate with Mark Krikorian of CIS.
For those who haven't been following along, the "busboy canard" is a stock talking point from the massive immigration/pro-illegal immigration crowd. The argument is that our border guards should chasing terrorists and such, and chasing busboys, gardeners, greenskeepers, and the like distracts them from that mission.
I've already dealt with one of her "arguments":
It was all but impossible to enforce Prohibition.
Now, let's deal with another:
But the most effective way to get control of illegal immigration isn't on the border; it's in the workplace. It's about ensuring that every available job - every job for which an employer can't find an American worker - is filled by a legal immigrant. Because once we do that - once illegal immigrants can't find work in the U.S. - there will be little or no incentive for them to make the long, difficult trip from their home countries.
Obviously, those same companies that employ illegal aliens in order to achieve a lower cost for labor will play similar tricks if all they have available are legal workers. For instance, many current H-1B scams involve placing ads with an impossible list of requirements, then, after no "qualified" citizens can be found, doing what the company wanted to do in the first place: hire a lower-wage and/or more compliant foreign worker.
And, even with that there's no guarantee whatsoever that illegal aliens couldn't find work in the U.S. There are plenty of crooked employers (and banks) around, and they have a tremendous amount of influence. If Bush won't enforce the laws now, what makes anyone think a future Bush clone would enforce them at that time?
Note also that the "guest" worker schemes from the various Senate bill had only a limited number of visas; a greater demand would equal a greater chance for future illegal immigration, and that would be allowed and enabled by those same forces that are currently allowing and enabling it.