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Why you shouldn't be duped by Ian Urbina (New York Times, immigration detention)

Ian Urbina of the New York Times offers "Using Jailed Migrants as a Pool of Cheap Labor" (link). At the best, it's agenda-driven journalism, and if you respond in the way Urbina and the NYT want you to, you'll help make the situation even worse.

Urbina describes how some legal immigrants and illegal aliens held in immigration detention centers voluntarily or not work as janitors, cooks, and the like for very low wages. It would be good to have a discussion about that, but that's not the goal of the article.

The goal is to encourage their largely-liberal readership to put all reason aside and respond emotionally, supporting looser borders, comprehensive immigration reform, and in general not detaining illegal aliens. That will just make the situation worse: eventually more people will be put in immigration detention in addition to all the other negative impacts of mass and illegal immigration.

Urbina even "quotes against interest". In one of the 37 paragraphs (third from the end), he writes:

Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, an advocacy group that promotes greater controls on immigration, said that with proper monitoring, the program had its advantages, and that the criticisms of it were part of a larger effort to delegitimize immigration detention.

And, that effort isn't going to work out as those like the NY Times hope it would. Reducing the numbers of illegal aliens detained would result in an outcry from the GOP and perhaps even some Democratic Party politicians. At the same time, reducing the chances that an illegal alien would be detained will encourage more people to try to cross the border (or remain here illegally after their visas expire). We'll have an increased population of illegal aliens and a decreased number being detained. Politicians will step in and push to detain more illegal aliens. Eventually, we'll end up with more illegal aliens in detention, not fewer.

The New York Times agenda will also make things worse for lower-skilled American workers. There's a reason why the US Chamber of Commerce, WalMart, McDonalds, big banks, and dozens of other major corporations want immigration reform (and loose immigration in general), and it isn't because they're nice guys.

In addition to pushing an agenda that will increase immigration detention and make things worse for millions of Americans, articles like Urbina's are designed to distract you from the far greater amount of money corporations earn from massive and illegal immigration. Government entities might spend $2 billion per year on immigration detention (per the article), with some part of that going to private companies. But, the money growers, consumer product companies, food processors, retailers, fast food, and so on make from high illegal immigration past or present is far greater. Remittances to Mexico alone (many from illegal aliens) are ten times the amount spent on detention.

The New York Times is, to be frank, playing you. Don't have the expected response. The only way to reduce the number of those detained, to increase wages for lower-skilled Americans, and to stop giving major corporations huge breaks is to oppose illegal immigration and comprehensive immigration reform.

Please take a moment and let @ian_urbina know you weren't born yesterday.

Sun, 05/25/2014 - 13:41 · Importance: 4