Monday, May 21, 2007

Immigration: Part I

While the immigration issue is debated (most of the debate is rhetorical nonsense) a larger issue is being missed: the bill will vastly increase the size and power of government. There are three ways that the proposed deal will extend the tentacles of government.

1. The government must be enlarge simply to comply with the logistics of processing the millions (10?, 15?, 20?) of illegal immigrants currently here. One day some poor soul in (presumably) Homeland Security is going to arrive at work (probably on a dreary Monday) and have a small stack of 10 million applications to sort through; and you thought your Monday was bad. On Tuesday this bludgeoned worker will come to work (thinking how could it get any worse) and be handed 400,000 applications from foreigners who want to be guest workers. Having not slept in 48 hours Joe worker comes to work pushing an IV bag pumping coffee into his veins. The caffeine helps, but after a morning meeting he is informed that they must establish a structure to implement the points system for approving the new visas’. This new visa must take into account education, English language knowledge, and personal attributes (the person must be an upstanding citizen). Needless to say, Joe is going to need help.

2. Homeland Security is being tasked with creating a national database that employers will be required to utilize in checking the status of new workers. First, businesses should not be tasked with sorting out who can and cannot work. If they are here they should be able to work. It is that simple. Businesses do not incorporate to do the work of immigration agencies. Secondly, (and more importantly) this database may be the precursor to a national ID. There may be a time when every citizen has an ID with a chip that contains all of their personal information (the military already does). If that day does come we can look back to the immigration reform of 2007 to find the origin.

3. David Isaacs, director of federal affairs for Hewlett-Packard, said that “a merit based system would take the hiring decision out of our hands and place it squarely in the hands of the federal government” in a recent NYT article. The proposed merit based system (that poor Joe Q. Worker will have to implement) takes away the need for a domestic sponsor. Immigrants will now be granted entry based solely on their level of education with no regard for their actual skill. For instance: the domestic need for educated workers may be for chemical engineers and computer programs (mainly from Europe, and Asia), but the preponderance of applications may be from immigrants with training in theology (mainly form the Middle East). Businesses, who are the benefactors of migrant workers, will no longer have a say in what workers they actually need. If the current bill (as I understand it) passes, it will allow the Federal government to decidedly change the character of the workforce. That isn’t even to mention the social ramifications of a law that favors Europeans and Asians over Arabs and Hispanics.

1 comment:

BillT said...

Another issue is the seamlessness with which border security and immigration reform have been joined together. The two ideas are mutually exclusive, in the purest of debates.