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January 09, 2004

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The Kid

I’m with you and Max.

What alternative do those objectors on the right offer? Massive arrests, house-to-house searches, large-scale deportations? That’s not politically feasible.

The visa will let the workers obtain driver licenses, trade certifications, and the like. State DMVs will be able to issue driver licenses with an expiration date that coincides with that of the visa.

Right now wages for many illegals are low because they are illegal. With the guest-worker program wages for some jobs will rise as the newly legal workers become a little more picky about what wages they’ll accept for the jobs offered. And there will still be jobs for them because there are many native-born who won’t or can’t do some of the really hard work that the guest-workers will do. This will lead to some friction, especially in some states in the south where native-born minorities will complain, but that’s the reality.

Finally, the smuggling of illegals across the border will be replaced with more humane job brokers who arrange the employment necessary to obtain the visa. Outrageous fees will probably remain, but the transactions will be legal and the transit safer.

Pouncer

The goal of the gimmick may not be to document the relatively benign "illegal" immigrants here seeking productive work. The goal could be to set law enforcement the task of rounding up the malignant illegals here to work destructive missions.

The kinds of unpleasant and violent actions necessary to apprehend an uncooperative immigrant (as illustrated by the measures required to send Elian Gonzales back to his father...) should not be widely employed. The voters of left OR right will not abide many instances of armed officers kicking in doors or dragging people away from their homes.

The easiest and quickest way to separate the sheep from the goats is to ask the sheep, nicely, to please cooperate. (See the movie, "Babe".) After a very short while, anyone who hasn't cooperated may be presumed to be a goat.

The costs of the proposal may be giving away millions of unearned green cards. But the outcome bought at that price should be hundreds of agents who, freed from chasing "technically illegal" immigrants, are empowered to chase actual infiltrating criminals. And, one hopes, then the arrest of dozens of would-be murderers BEFORE they manage their murders.

Is this prize worth the price? I guess that's a question better left to economists. But if we imagine a law enforcement viewpoint we might think so.

Dave

Excellent way of putting it, Pouncer, and pretty much why I support this as much as I do.

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