Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Illegal Immigration Illogic

Ith from Absinthe & Cookies has posted on a William F. Buckley article on illegal immigration. Buckley says in part:
It is the market contribution to the dilemma: There are jobs only illegals are willing to perform, e.g. serving as nannies for Bernard Kerik. Much of the menial and agricultural work done in the southwestern states is done by illegals.

This logic has been put forward by President Bush also, as a reason to support a migrant worker program.
The President's thinking is that if a US employer can demonstrate that American workers will not fill a job, they should be able to legally contract out to foriegn labor.

I am surprised by this reasoning from a man with an MBA from Harvard Business School and real-world executive experience.

A job is: a collection of duties and responsibilities, to be performed in a given time, for a set amount of compensation.
The employer controls all three aspects, and could easily define them so that "no American worker will do the job".

If George W. Bush defined the job of White House Chief of Staff to be the present collection of duties, for $12.75/hr, on a week-to-week basis, then he could leave it open for a year and find no takers. He would then have demonstrated that "no American worker will do the job".

Plenty of employers define employment opportunities too cheaply, or too strenously, or too loosely, to attract the average American worker. They may do this out of inexperience or budget constraints. The President's plan would create a concrete reason: by deliberately bidding low, American employers would earn the legal right to access a cheaper foriegn labor pool, with the US government facilitating the contact.

The last time the President made a push to enact his plan, he met a wall of flak from Congressional Republicans. Let's hope that continues.

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