This morning, the Boston Globe has an editorial tackling the illegal alien problem. More specifically, what they see as good solutions and bad solutions.
Leading the “bad solutions” is the idea of a fence along our southern border.
According to the Glob, the right solution is a combination of “tough enforcement and smart reform.” But as always, you have to look beyond the pretty words and see what substance they are offering up. In this case, it’s hovering right between “not much” and “none whatsoever.”
Enforcement? Why, that’s something to be praised in the abstract, but denounced whenever actually attempted. They want “an easy electronic verifcation system” that would let employers instantly verify applicants’ immigration status, but what would it verify? Every single attempt to create a sort of national ID that the verification system could use gets staunch opposition from the Glob. (I’m not saying whether or not it would be a good idea, but it’s a key element of “an easy electronic verifcation system” like the Glob calls for.)
The example they cite of enforcement is the town of Stillmore, Georgia, which was hit hard economically when the federal government started cracking down on illegal aliens there. About a hundred illegals were arrested, and several hundred more fled town, leaving the local businesses in dire straits.
The account the Glob presents is rather telling in its details. As they say, 100 were arrested and “several hundred” fled. Let’s say that was 275, just for the sake of argument. That means that in this town of 750, they had 375 illegal aliens being exploited and used by local businesses, who now find themselves high and dry without their cheap labor. The Glob calls it unfortunate. I call it “just desserts.”
The Glob also uses lofty language in saying we should address the root causes of illegal immigration to stem the flood. I don’t think they’ve fully thought it out.
Most of the illegal aliens are here for economic gain. By the Glob’s logic, then, we should get rid of the economic incentives. We should bring our own economy down to the level of the hellholes they’re fleeing, so there’s no real benefit to coming here.
I think that the Stillmore story is a good example to follow. In Stillmore, the local businesses have seen that the cost of hiring illegals far exceeds the benefits. Perhaps now they’ll work on rebuilding their work force, this time paying Americans and legal aliens a fair, legal, living wage.
But that is a long-term cure. We need a short-term solution to buy us the time to implement such policies. A fence would be, as the old joke goes, much like 10,000 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean:
A damned good start.