But let's state the obvious: The immigration situation -- I will not call it a problem, because to the people who matter, it isn't one -- was created by American business practices. American business managers -- enough to count -- don't want any changes to a situation that provides them with plenty of cheap, abusable workers. And easily exploitable customers.
It isn't a party issue. Exploiting bosses are as likely to be Democrats as Republicans.
If you know your American history, you will recall that the influx of cheap, abusable workers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries caused endless anguish among the WASP elite who ran things in those days. They worried -- and they were correct -- that it would change America in ways that would dethrone them. But they needed cheap labor, and business' desire for cheap, easily controlled labor has always been paramount. That's why business liked -- and still likes -- slavery, as we saw in Germany and Japan not long ago and can still find in places like Bangladesh and the Dominican Republic.
But, some readers will object, what about the restrictive immigration laws of 1924? Business was never riding higher; if you are right, Harry, how did that pass?
Because it allowed sufficient cheap workers to come in. Half a million Germans, fleeing violence and depression, supplied industry with its workers. (Almost all returned to Germany after Hitler created jobs, so we had to kill them, but our corporations benefitted from their labor in the meantime.) Green card exceptions supplied western and Midwestern agriculture. The losers were Southern farmers, but before the loss of black workers to the North and Midwest became acute, the Great Crash drove the ex-sharecroppers back.
A lot of people are making easy money off our so-called broken immigration system. I recently came across a copy of "Autos USAdos" magazine, published weekly in Houston. It is similar to the Maui Bulletin in that it advertises cars, except they are all used cars, and the free weekly is 200 pages, on slick paper in full color.
With around 20 cars per page, that's 4,000 cars. If the magazine helps sell 200 of those cars a week, that's around $2 million-plus per week.
There are "especiales de contado" -- cash deals. (None over $10,000, to avoid having to make money-laundering reports to the feds.) But financing is available, too: "no seguro social, no licencia, no credito" -- no problemo. Others say, "sin papeles, sin aseguranza." Some will take pesos.
No problemo indeed. CarTex advertises "5 minutos y estas aprobado!"
I guess those guys didn't take any lessons from the liar loan epidemic of the early 2000s. And why should they? Easy money.
I haven't seen one of those contracts, but you can bet the fees are outrageous.
When Emma Lazarus saw Lady Liberty raising her lamp beside a "golden door," it was golden all right, but not for the immigrant.
UPDATE: And at the other end of the political spectrum from thoughtful and well-informed, we have the Tea Party. But a Palin v. McCain Senate race would be fun.
I note the absence in all the antiObama screeching of any discussion of how to deal with visa overstayers, who make up 40% of illegal immigrants. (Even Obama spoke only of making the Mexican border more like the Berlin Wall, although it is true that his approach would apply to sneakers-in however they got here; while it is possible that his gesture toward more border security was an insincere sop to the Tea Party racists who are interested only in keeping brown people out. In any case, I could have told him that gesture would earn him no credit so he could have saved his breath.)
The Times says, blandly:
What started five years ago as a groundswell of conservatives committed to curtailing the reach of the federal government, cutting the deficit and countering the Wall Street wing of the Republican Party has become largely an anti-immigration overhaul movement.
That implies that the movement's members now are the same as the ones who started it; but the TP was quickly taken over by Bircher/racists; and the original gold bugs, who are still there, have been swamped.