Will On Immigration And Assimiliation

George Will has a column that supports the President’s position on amnesty for illegal immigrants:

Conservatives should want, as the president proposes, a guest worker program to supply what the U.S. economy demands — immigrant labor for entry-level jobs. Conservatives should favor a policy of encouraging unlimited immigration by educated persons with math, engineering, technology or science skills that America’s education system is not sufficiently supplying.

Which is about as ass-backwards as one can get.

There’s no doubt that America will have a demand for labor – we have an unemployment rate that’s quite close to full employment, and our economy is diversifying more and more with each passing year. No doubt we’d see quite a few more American-born janitors and hotel workers if having those jobs paid more – but at the same time, that would also raise the costs involved in staying at a hotel or cleaning trash. We can’t simply shut down our borders like some may like.

However, the flow of illegal immigrants across our borders makes a mockery of our laws and puts even more stress on our national infrastucture. A guest-worker program would ameliorate some of these downsides, but how much could we broaden our tax base with cheap immigrant labor? How can we assimilate so many people, many of whom are here to get social benefits and send their money back to their families in Mexico? Yes, there’s no doubt that Hispanic immigrants can and do assimilate into American society – and Hispanics are an increasingly important part of American culture. However, immigration without assimilation is a recipe for disaster, and Will seems to blithely ignore the realities of such a general amnesty.

With our culture of political correctness, do we have the will to make guest workers assimilate? If not, guest workers are simply sources of revenue to be exploited. Assimilation is vital towards having a stable polity, and very few on the left or the right seem to be taking that issue seriously.

The Democrats want amnesty to boost their political fortunes. The Bush Administration wants guest workers to hopefully boost the Republicans political fortunes. Other Republicans want to further criminalize illegal immigrantion to boost their standings with the Republican base.

All three parties are considering what’s good for their own political position rather than what’s good for the country as a whole. There’s nothing wrong with people wanting to come to America, work hard, and share in the American dream. That is part of our national story, and should be. However, we have to ensure that those immigrants come to share in the American dream – not simply be free-riders on it. The plethora of Mexican flags at recent pro-immigration rallies seems to suggest a fundamental lack of allegiance to this country.

Unless we can gather the political will to assimilate our immigrant communities, immigration will only dilute our national identity. We have to uphold the rule of law, control our borders, and work towards integrating immigrants into our society and culture first. Only then can we start seriously tackling the issue of immigration in a meaningful way. Fishing for more voters on the rolls isn’t the way of going about it, and the current debate seems to boil down to precisely that.

4 thoughts on “Will On Immigration And Assimiliation

  1. Guest worker program proponents want all the benefits of immigration (cheap labor) with none of the responsibilities (an empowered workforce able to hold the employers accountable for their business practices at the voting booth). People working in America should be able to vote here. It’s unrealistic to deport every illegal in America, so those currently here would be best served with a track to citizenship, coupled with whatever means necessary to keep our borders sealed.

    A guest worker program is tantamount to American apartheid supported by law. The Republican Party’s dream come true is restructuring the economy to exclude as many working people as possible from voting rights, and that’s exactly what a guest worker program will do. When an American company decides it wants to slash wages and benefits, it can then arbitrarily declare itself in possession of “jobs Americans won’t do” and qualify for the guest worker program, and from that day forward, employees in that industry will never again be able to vote…..meaning no politician will have any interest in their welfare from that day forward.

    If pre-Nelson Mandela South Africa is your idea of a utopian society, then a guest worker program is for you!

  2. Resident aliens can’t vote either. The guest-worker proposals I’ve seen all have options for citizenship at the end of a defined term, which is the whole point of the exercise – both sides are trying to get votes out of a wave of Hispanic immigrants. The problem is I don’t think a lot of immigrants give two farts about citizenship, they just want jobs so they can support their families in Mexico.

    I also don’t think the GOP as a whole is enamored with immigration, other than a certain small section of it confined to a few op-ed writers and the Bush Administration. Most Republicans seem to want the borders sealed and immigration restricted – which is why Bush’s plan is so politically dangerous.

  3. “The guest-worker proposals I’ve seen all have options for citizenship at the end of a defined term,”

    I’ve never seen an option for such, and would suggest you brush up on the specifics of these plans because “options for citizenship” run contrary to the whole notion of a GUEST worker.

  4. Does anyone wonder why people in this country won’t take the jobs that those who enter illegally do take?

    Why? What is going on here? I see Hispanic framing crews on new home construction but no other ethnic groups…

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