Monday, April 17, 2006

Link of the Day

Check out the usually excellent Nathan Newman's post at TPMCafe showing that illegal immigration is not the primary reason for wage decline in the United States. While I, like Newman, am usually a huge supporter of unions, they are completely wrong on the immigration issue. Newman's arguments make a lot of sense. Unfortunately, the comments mostly show the anti-immigrant bias that many liberals share with non-business conservatives.

Almost every effect that immigrants have had on the United States has been positive. This goes all the way back to the beginning of the nation. We need to celebrate immigrants and all they bring to this nation. Personally, I'd trade Mexico, Honduras, or Cambodia 100,000 immigrants for Mickey Kaus. Perhaps we can start a movement around this deal.

Seriously though, Newman's best point is this:

"And the reality is that for the heavy costs of proposed border control measures -- the billions to build a wall, more cops and border control agents, the costs imposed on businesses for more inspections and delays at the border -- the same money invested in enforcing the minimum wage, expanding the EITC tax credit, or any other of a list of measures directly helping low-wage workers would be more effective."

If Americans really care about the wages of working-class people (which they mostly don't unless they are working-class themselves), this is where their emphasis would be. This anti-immigrant movement is about xenophobia and racism, not the wages of the single mother in the trailer park on the other side of town.