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January 16, 2004

Union America

At Hit and Run, poster 'thoreau' hits a home run.

What I don't get is the people who say "I have absolutely no problem with Joe Immigrant coming here, living his life, working a job under terms voluntarily consented to by him and his boss, hanging out with friends, and whatnot. My only grievance is that he didn't get government permission before coming here."

Sure, I agree that the law is the law, and I don't like selective enforcement. But when I see a bad law that isn't enforced, my quarrel is usually with the state: Either enforce the law to be consistent, or repeal it. But I don't get mad at the people who are doing something that I don't think should be illegal.

So, to the people who supposedly have no qualms about Joe Immigrant getting a job and living his life (i.e. people in the third category that I described, not the first two categories), why are you mad at Joe Immigrant? You claim not to care if people come here, but you are upset that they do it without government permission. Why do you want them to get government permission in the first place?

Now, if you have a national security concern or an economic concern then say that. You then have a reason (however valid or invalid) for not wanting Joe Immigrant here. But don't say "I really don't care if he's here, I just think he should have government permission." If you really have zero qualms about his presence, why do you want the government involved?

I agree that one cannot be against a welfare state and for global capitalism without being for open borders. It's a simple contradiction. It makes me believe that there are few good reasons for keeping the border closed and more good reasons for having a better system of national ID.

Closing borders for economic reasons (they don't pay taxes, they take our jobs, they lower wages) is exactly the same thing as striking a collective bargaining agreement with management. We get the high pay simply because we're in the club. Closed border protectionism makes all workers in America, union workers.

Insuring that American labor practices and laws are enforced for every American worker is not different at all from doing so for everyone who works in America. It means sending Feds to inspect where work is being done. Which Feds to send, that is the question.

Posted by mbowen at January 16, 2004 08:41 AM

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