Friday, May 14, 2010
This is in response to two articles on immigration in the Union-Bulletin on May 10: Ruben Navarrette's piece titled "GOP should start with a little respect", page A4 -- and an AP article on page A5 titled "Farmers: Immigration reform needed for ag workers."
Uncharacteristically, Navarrette blisters Republicans, calling them "buffoonish" for the "most preposterous" things they're saying about illegal immigration. He lists several examples, but only after taking a swipe at Democrats for not deserving Hispanic support for taking that support for granted.
Navarrette thinks Republicans should be advocating (1) a crackdown on employers with stronger sanctions that are easier to enforce, and (2) an update of the process for legal immigration so incentives to cross illegally are removed.
Speaking of Republican views of illegal immigration, I'm reminded of a (possibly apocryphal) comment made years ago by a certain member of the U.S. House of Representatives from somewhere in the central part of the state of Washington: "Send them home -- but wait 'til the apples have been picked."
The second article, on farmers and immigration reform, begins by saying farmers need illegals and want Congress to make it easier for immigrant farmworkers to get "some kind of legal status." Then the article presents the view of a director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which pushes tougher immigration laws.
A fact not addressed is that CIS advocates not only sending illegals home but also sharply curtailing legal immigration -- in particular non-Europeans.
Mark Krikorian, executive director of CIS, took this position on the Diane Rehm Show on April 27. Krikorian has used the slogan "Attrition Through Enforcement." Another panelist said this stance would "make life so miserable for immigrants, legal as well as illegal, that they will leave the U.S. on their own."
In the article, the CIS representative adds that farmers are used to having cheap foreign labor and haven't had to raise wages to attract non-immigrants. The article does not say we who buy farmers' products would pay more if wages rise. For opponents of migratory farm labor, this would be a just outcome, wouldn't it?