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As the Department of Homeland Security prepares for an assault on businesses that hire illegal immigrants, Californians in particular can look forward to economic and social devastation.

The San Francisco Chronicle has an editorial that really draws the issue into sharp contrast.

Within weeks, the Dept. of Homeland Security, in concert with the Social Security Administration, is planning to send out waves of "no match" letters to employers. If an employee's Social Security information does not match those on file with the federal government, the employer will be required to fire the worker within 90 days, if the discrepancy can't be resolved. If the worker isn't fired, the employer will be subject to a $2,200 fine per worker, and stiffer penalties later on.

California's agriculture industry has a hard time employing sufficient people to pick crops with the use of illegal immigrants. It will be downright impossible without them. Food will rot in the fields; farms will go bankrupt; and, prices in stores will skyrocket.

While the editorial is excellent, it misses something obvious in its analysis of the Bush Administration's game plan: Strikes, Crime and Riots. If the administration is successful in its bid to drive illegal immigrants from the workplace, the immigrants will not return home: They will just join the ranks of the unemployed in this country. People sympathetic to their cause will go on strike. Illegals without jobs will either turn to crime or find themselves homeless. If enough rage builds in some immigrant communities, we could see riots.

All this activity will get news coverage, and it will embolden the right-wing, anti-immigration conservative wing-nuts who want to deport anyone who's in the U.S. illegally. Right-wing talk radio will be abuzz about how the immigrant menace needs to be rounded up. Come election season in California, if people are scared enough they'll vote for Republicans who'll be preaching anti-immigration, law and order stuff.

The Administration's goal is two fold, placate their xenophobic base and seize control of the largest state in the union. Think I'm crazy? Check out this story of a ballot initiative in California to divvy up electoral votes by congressional district.

Everything the administration does is about gathering and consolidating power in Republican hands. Don't forget that for a moment.

Further Reading:
  GOP Used Tax Dollars To Boost Campaigns
  Martial Law In The U.S.?
  FDR's Four Freedoms - Then and Now
  Justice Department Working To Shrink Voter Rolls
  White House Gagged Surgeon General
  Bush Moves To Circumvent Regulatory Process
  When Is A Signature A Veto?
  Administration Using Signing Statements To Grab Power

Originally posted to cybermage on Mon Aug 20, 2007 at 06:20 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  So do state democrats have their ad ready? (5+ / 0-)

    The one with a grocery store produce section that's all but empty, with prices through the roof, and yuppies wondering where everything went, or perhaps fighting over the last tomato, with titles telling the viewer to thank Republicans for fucking things up?

    Elect even more Democrats!
    Three times nothing has *gotta* be worth *something*, right?

    by khereva on Mon Aug 20, 2007 at 06:25:54 AM PDT

  •  Guest worker program (6+ / 0-)

    I think this is the plan: get rid of the immigrants, then introduce a "guest worker program" so that substandard wages would be the only means by which immigrants (whose livelihoods have been destroyed by NAFTA et al.) would be granted the right to eat.

    The working class needs to be "put in its place" in preparation for the neo-feudalism that will take the place of capitalism when capitalism's time is up.

    "How long? Not long." -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by Cassiodorus on Mon Aug 20, 2007 at 06:37:59 AM PDT

    •  You couldn't be more right (3+ / 0-)

      Big business needs to drive down the cost of labor in order to remain competitive with China, India, Vietnam, et al...  

      We're turning into the world's largest Banana Republic.

      "That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it..." Declaration of Indepencence

      by maverickdem on Mon Aug 20, 2007 at 06:47:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The GOP has waged a war against Cali (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eugene, Sychotic1, farleftcoast, slksfca

    for a long time.

    California has the 8th largest income of any country, yet it's just one American state. Control of this is the goal.

    Destruction of the 9th Circut and it's
    "liberal activist judges" the liberal West Coast environment, not to mention their medical marijuana laws.

    California IS under attack.

    Oh...yeah... they got Arnold installed.

    Onslaught is progressing well.

  •  Good analysis (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    farleftcoast

    The better, preferred solution is to legalize the undocumented who are here. That's best for the immigrants, their employers, and everyone else in the state.

    The DHS approach is by far the worst one - it will only increase suffering and hurt the California economy. Which is ironic, given that we've been told by those worked up about immigration that this is strictly about economics, and oh no, it doesn't have anything to do at all with racial prejudice, no sir.

    I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

    by eugene on Mon Aug 20, 2007 at 07:01:59 AM PDT

  •  I still think this is the right approach. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    opinionated

    Farmers who cannot stay in business, despite government subsidies and illegally depressing the wages they pay by hiring illegals should be bought out by those who can.

    This goes along with the 'can't find anyone to do the work' argument I've seen Republicans use about immigration. If you can't get someone to put in a day's work in the sun at $5.00/hour, try offering $25.00/hour, and watch the unemployed wait in line to do the work. I'm using some hyperbole, here, but the rules of economics apply to employers as well as consumers.

    The victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.

    by Pacifist on Mon Aug 20, 2007 at 07:09:13 AM PDT

    •  And what do you think farmers will do (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nellcote, farleftcoast

      With a fivefold increase in their costs?

      Pass it on to us, or shut down.

      Many farmers face international competition. Already several packing plants around the Monterey Bay, where I live, have closed in recent years because of cheap foreign labor.

      Your mindless solution is deeply ignorant of economics and global trade. The better solution is to legalize all who are here illegally and then get them into unions where they can bargain for better wages themselves.

      Otherwise, this approach the DHS is taking will cause massive economic dislocation - which makes us then wonder what is really behind this wave of immigrant-bashing.

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

      by eugene on Mon Aug 20, 2007 at 07:16:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Namecalling is not the answer (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Utahrd, libertyisliberal

        I indicated in my post that I was using hyperbole. My point is that I have no sympathy for farmers using illegal subsidies (employing illegal immigrants) facing difficulties as a direct result of their having broken the law.
        My point is that farmers are obliged, like any other business, to follow the strictures of Supply and Demand. In the presence of scarcity, prices go up. Calling me ignorant, where I cite Supply and Demand, does not make me so.

        The victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.

        by Pacifist on Mon Aug 20, 2007 at 07:27:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Still ignorant (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          farleftcoast

          If you are not willing to consider the effect of this on the wider economy. It's not "namecalling," it's pointing out the deep flaws inherent in your argument. If you can't deal with, not my problem...

          I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

          by eugene on Mon Aug 20, 2007 at 07:36:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not as ignorant as you'd like, perhaps. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            libertyisliberal

            I'm more inclined to take issue with illegally subsidized labor costs than you are, apparently. I oppose the use of illegal immigrants to keep wages low. Since you take issue with my position, I infer you support low wages where I do not.

            If your position is that employers should be allowed to break the law to minimize their expenses, then we disagree.

            Your initial statement said you want a legalization of immigrant status, followed by unionization for higher wages. What's the difference in the end result? The end result is higher wages, arrived at by two different routes. Are you taking into consideration the effects of unionized workers' wages on food prices? If so, we disagree less than you seem to think. If not, then characterizing my argument as 'mindless' and 'ignorant' is just namecalling, and unworthy of being addressed.

            The victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.

            by Pacifist on Mon Aug 20, 2007 at 07:46:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  You mean we'd have to pay what it's worth? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pacifist, libertyisliberal

        Never!

        Nice use on "mindless," by the way.  Your banal, conclusory and insulting post truly adds up to a compelling argument.

        •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

          While I said above that I regarded the namecalling as being unworthy of being addressed, I think you addressed it well, burrow owl.

          The victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.

          by Pacifist on Mon Aug 20, 2007 at 08:18:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  won't work (0+ / 0-)

    There are an estimated 25 million workers who's SSN does not match.  There is no way the fed's can resolve 25 million cases in 90 days.

    just a jump to the left

    by BradMajors on Mon Aug 20, 2007 at 07:27:31 AM PDT

    •  yeah, if a citizen with good docs (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      highacidity, libertyisliberal

      can't get a passport in a couple of months, then I'd say that's completely out of the question that this matching could occur in a reasonable period.

      I fear that if they actually went through with this (I don't think they will, I think this whole thing is lip service), we could end up with lots of US citizens facing deportation because they can't get "verified" fast enough.

      Having said that, the average American has no idea how much the US economy depends on these workers and their artificially low wages.  If something like this actually did happen, it would be the equivalent of a strike, and might change the American mindset about the use of this labor (wether it would create tolerance for wage exploitation or support for legalization, I'm not sure).

  •  More concerned about electoral college (5+ / 0-)

    California may be considering a proposition to divvy up electoral college votes by percentage of vote. This might be a good idea in general but for one major state to change the year of the election is war on the party that usually carries California, ie us democrats.

    Practice tolerance, kindness and charity.

    by LWelsch on Mon Aug 20, 2007 at 07:27:52 AM PDT

  •  Administration Masochism (0+ / 0-)

    I don't think the Bush administration wants to start getting enforcment heavy I think they're doing it right now to hurt the country and force federal legislators to pass something and do something about it.  Nevertheless I appreciate the analysis, and the fact that you covered immigration because it is done so rarely here on Daily Kos.

    The U.S. "immigration debate" has lost sight of justice.

    by kyledeb on Mon Aug 20, 2007 at 07:30:25 AM PDT

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