This article from the San Diego Union-Tribune is one of the best all-around immigration articles I’ve read of late. One thing is certain, the folks in California have been dealing with the immigration issue much longer than the rest of the U.S., and as such are less likely to become embroiled with the nonsense issues that seem to plague national discourse on the issues.
The major points:
- Today’s immigrants re not so different from those a century ago (in fact, neither is the native response to immigrants).
- Racism and nativism are implicit parts of our discussions, even if we don’t want to admit it.
- The coup de grace of the article: illegal immigration is a “self-inflicted wound.” We have an illegal immigration problem because we like having a pliable workforce to do the dirty work of the nation. Although local municipalities like to complain about the cost of providing education, health care and other services to illegal immigrants and their children, they should at a minimum be honest about the net gain their communities derived from abundant cheap labor. This ready supply of low-skilled workers keeps local economies growing, as the author notes, in places like Pheonix, Dallas, and Las Vegas, but this is no less true in Herndon, Virginia, Hazleton, Pennsylvania, and most of North Carolina.