My dad is a bit more conservative than I am. I guess you could call him a an independent-- he has a rather dim view of both political parties and with good reason in some cases. He's older than me and he has seem a lot of things that inform the way he sees the world. We don't agree on much but we do agree on the right way to address immigration.
"They should crack down on the employers!" he yells at the TV. ( this is how we talk politics in a small town 50 mile out of Pittsburgh.)
"They'll never do that, dad. That's what they want a shadow workforce easy to exploit."
Now if I talk about workers being exploited in any other context I don't have much support from my dad-- but on this one issue we agree.
Well color me shocked-- I just found out that Obama is doing exactly what we both wanted!
He's going after employers. Bravo!
The Obama administration plans to intensify a crackdown on employers of illegal immigrants with the establishment of an audit office designed to bolster verification of company hiring records.
Crackdown on Illegal Workers Grows, Wall Street Journal
People keep talking about the "immigration debate" and how Obama must address the issue, but from the looks of this Obama has already started to address the issue and in the most sane and effective way I have yet witnessed. But expect this very effective way of slowing illegal immigration to be dismissed as not enough. Two right wing factions find this solution wanting:
- The jingoist, nationalistic, right wingers who fear a change in the
er'complexion' and language of this nation don't like this solution since it isn't deporting people. If a woman is here legally and working this type of crackdown will not get her aged parents who she has brought over illegally out of the country. They also don't like it because it just doesn't feel as mean and tough as sending the workers packing the way Bush did from time to time. (halfheartedly...)
- The moneyed employers who are Republicans who may hold little antipathy for Latin culture, also don't like this since it will in time dissolve their inexpensive labor force. Already this group is proposing things like "guest worker" programs that would create some kind of pass that lets a Mexican work in the US at low wages and never become citizen. It would also force these "guest" to return home and not set down roots. This would simply be codifying the current status quo. "guest worker" programs would erase all of the positive impacts of the current surge in enforcement.
But, beyond these groups, I think most of us on the left will be able to support this enforcement. I personally would like to see a path to citizenship option for people who have worked here and paid their SS taxes (as many undocumented workers do)
Independents like my dad and many conservatives may also like Obama's solution. It's a winner. "Enforce the laws we have." I think that's the best way to describe it. I'm looking forward to the results this enforcement will have on the economy in the future. I hope we can avoid sending too many people home, and rather grant them the opportunity to help us in building this country in to a better place through hard work and paying their fair share.