One of the hot button issues during this early primary season is illegal immigration. That’s too bad, because illegal immigration is one of the less important issues we face as a country today (compared to say, income inequality, the “war” on terror, crumbling infrastructure, etc.).
This is not to say that illegal immigration doesn’t cause economic and social stress, it’s just that the problem is being exaggerated to create fear and to create a diversion (or a scapegoat) from the real cause of economic and social stress: economic injustice.
The current proposal is to close the border with Mexico, and the best idea the brain trust of Conservative Republicans have come up with is … a wall, kind of like the Berlin Wall, except it is meant to keep people out. This is an ineffective and expensive concept.
A wall might feel reassuring, but virtually no one who is knowledgeable believes it would work. However, building a wall would cost a fraction of the manpower and other resources it would take to seal the border. They all want to “secure the border,” but none of them will tell you how they will get the hundreds of billions of dollars needed. What would work? A solution you will never hear about.
To solve any problem, you have to address the cause. If you want to stop illegal immigration, then look at what causes it. Most immigrants coming to America are looking for work. Most illegal immigrants find work because there are American employers willing to pay them low wages with no benefits and save payroll taxes.
This takes jobs from Americans, lowers wages for other Americans, and costs the taxpayers a fortune in the form of social services such as schools, medical care, etc. This suggests a simple solution: hold American employers accountable for attracting and hiring illegal immigrants. Escalating heavy fines for hiring undocumented immigrants would do more to stop illegal immigration than any wall. How many people would risk their lives crossing the border if they knew they would not find any work?
Why not devote ICE personnel to finding illegal employers and fine the employers heavily? Employers would not only lose manpower, but be fined $20,000 for every illegal worker they have hired on the first offense, $25,000 for every illegal worker on the second offense, and $50,000 and criminal charges for a third offense. The problem is that this solution is opposed by the Chamber of Commerce for obvious reasons: it would cost profiteers profit.
Exploiting immigrants is a multi-billion dollar profit generator and the people who profit from that exploitation are the ones who give the money that determines who will be nominated as judges, congressmen and presidents. That’s why you will never hear any discussion of a real solution to immigration from either GOP or Democrats. They answer to the donor class, not the working class.