For the past few days, I’ve blogged about Arizona’s efforts to crackdown on illegal immigration. Unfortunately, the state is violating the U.S. Constitution in the process. So, how do you crack down on illegal immigration in a lawful, constitutional manner? Easy. There are lots of things Arizona can do.
- The state can refuse to do business with any company found guilty of hiring illegal immigrants.
- It can deny tax abatements and incentives to companies that have been found guilty of hiring illegal immigrants.
- It can revoke the license of any company found guilty to have hired illegal immigrants.
The key words in all that is “found guilty” once the federal government has made the determination that a company has hired illegals, then I have no problem with the full hammer of the law being brought down. However, if you are going to bring down the hammer, you want to make sure the punishment fits the crime. Does anyone really want to put a major employer in their community out of work because of two or three bad hires?
Of course things like border security go without saying, but the only real meaningful way to address the problem of illegal immigration is to treat it like what it really is, an economic issue. It’s basic supply and demand. We as Americans demand cheap stuff, and someone has to supply the cheap labor, i.e. illegal immigrants.
Let’s be honest, how much more would our food costs, our hotel services, and other menial unskilled labor costs, if we did not have the cheap supply of labor to do the job? I’m not saying this is right, but I am saying that’s how it is. If we want to keep the demand for illegal immigrants down then we need to conduct our economic activity as such.
We also need to address in a grown up manner the 9-12 million people already here. You are not going to round them up and put them box cars and send them back to wherever they came from. We need an orderly process to bring these people above ground and fully integrate them into society. And before you scream amnesty, here’s a news flash, we do it all them time on other areas of law, taxes, parking tickets, etc. Even a plea bargain is a form of amnesty lite.
If we want to truly tackle the illegal immigration problem, we are going to have to put our emotions and bumper sticker mentality aside, roll up our sleeves and get to work. It’s a complicated issue that requires a lot of thought. Who’s up for it?