Is Lou Dobbs Encouraging Illegal Immigration?

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The Los Angeles Times reports:

Studies show that because it is harder to crisscross the border, illegal immigrants who intended to be in the U.S. for limited stretches may increasingly be choosing to bring their families with them—and settle permanently….Mexican government surveys show that 20% of illegal Mexican immigrants returned home after six months in 1992, compared with 7% in 2000. "The net effect of the militarization of the border since 1993 has been to transform a circular movement of male workers to a settled population of families," said Douglas S. Massey, a Princeton University sociologist who has long studied the phenomenon. "Once they're here, they hunker down to stay longer." Massey and other analysts argue that if Congress tightens border security again, more illegal immigrants will put down roots in the U.S.

The law of unintended consequences in action, or just a really crafty way to encourage assimilation?

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  1. I suppose immigration reform foes might figure that it’s worth the trade-off of encouraging some immigrants to settle here to keep some others out. This could result in the overall number of illegally arrived immigrants being here at any one time being larger, but it might not, or at least not in equal numbers, as the ones who settle may take the jobs during the time that they would otherwise return to Mexico that would have induced other would-be migrants to migrate.

    All that said, immigration reform foes are probably not thinking that deeply. They just think that a wall will keep them out, end of discussion. Good luck.

  2. Wouldn’t encouraging of illegal immigration imply that he was encouraging the illegals to come? Given that Dobbs favors vigorous enforcement of employer sanctions, which would dry up illegal jobs and provide incentive to leave, it is disengenuous at best to try and blame him for our government’s failure to enforce the border.

    Nice try.

  3. This whole employer sanctions thing is silly at best. Hasn’t Lou Dobbs et. al. ever heard of fake id’s?

  4. The INS (is it still called that?) doesn’t have the resources to enforce the laws already on the books. What makes anyone think that more draconian employer sanctions would/could be enforced? I know, I know, it’s Congress we’re dealing with, so reality is not an important factor in the equation…

  5. Actually, it would be easy beesy to go after employers – and guess what – ain’t no one gonna do it. 😉

    You don’t need the INS. Local cops could do it. Remember now, “could” is the operative word there. 😉

    JMJ

  6. Given that Dobbs favors vigorous enforcement of employer sanctions, which would dry up illegal jobs and provide incentive to leave

    …and allow a higher minimum wage law, and provide more government interference in how private enterprises conduct their business, and get rid of some of that pesky competition for labor unions, and all that other stuff that conservatives, hyphenated or not, love so much.

  7. Juggler,
    It seems you’ve never heard of a strict liability offense. The idea would be akin to staturoy rape in CA. “I thought she was 18, here driver’s license said so,” is not a valid defense in CA. THat’s the same way it should be for hiring illegals.

    Tim,
    What does the removal of illegal aliens have to do with governments setting minimum wage? The effect would likely increase the market price for wages but that is not raising the minimum wage. And pulling the union bogeymen is unconvincing as unions are split on the issue.

  8. unhyphenatedconservative,

    Do you understand satire? Walker is not really claiming that Dobbs really wants more immigrants to come! He’s pointing out that the unintended consequence (please note the definition of “unintended”) of making crossing the border may very well result in more illegally arrived immigrants being in this country, regardless of the intention.

    And I think the point goes beyond Lou Dobbs.

  9. Should read:

    “of making crossing the border more difficult…”

  10. THat’s the same way it should be for hiring illegals.

    And how, exactly, am I supposed to tell who is legal and who is not except by the documentation they provide?

    Oh, I know, I just won’t hire anyone with dark skin and a funny accent. Problem solved.

    You might also examine the fact that a crime like statutory rape, which actually has a victim whom one can claim was harmed by the event, has no similarity to hiring an illegal alien who almost everyone agrees benefited from the transaction.

  11. You don’t need the INS. Local cops could do it. Remember now, “could” is the operative word there. 😉

    Oh really? Local cops are going to routinely go over every employment eligibility form submitted to the feds by every employer in every city. Uh-huh.

    Could they bust up a few day-laborer gathering spots? Sure. And then we’ll get the inevitable flood of “human-interest” stories on the illegal-immigrant families and mom-and-pop landscaping business owners whose members are sitting in the local jail. That would last about five minutes.

    Personally, I tend to think that in this era of easy communications and transportation, either the labor moves to the jobs, or the jobs move to the labor. Might as well draft a policy that reflects that reality.

  12. It seems you’ve never heard of a strict liability offense. The idea would be akin to staturoy rape in CA. “I thought she was 18, here driver’s license said so,” is not a valid defense in CA. THat’s the same way it should be for hiring illegals.

    I’m sorry, and I get irritated when someone claims racism as a motivation for someone’s disagreement, especially when one doesn’t know the other person, but good grief, man. Unless you’re trying to keep anyone who could possibly be a Mexican or an immigrant from Mexico from getting a job in the US, what honorable reason would you have for arguing a liability system where people couldn’t use the presentation of government documents as a defense?

  13. “Oh, I know, I just won’t hire anyone with dark skin and a funny accent. Problem solved.”

    I think it’s pretty obvious that the anti-immigration types are hoping for just that.

  14. Gee. You don’t think the recent increase in Sanctuary Cities has anything to do with why fewer illegals go back to Mexico nowadays, do ya? Naw. It couldn’t be that…

  15. Hasn’t Lou Dobbs et. al. ever heard of fake id’s?

    John Hickenlooper (mayor of Denver) said on the radio that when his employees’* SSNs show up as phony, they get a letter (from SSA, IIRC) telling them they could be sued for discimination if they fire the guy.

    *e.g., Raul Gomez-Garcia.

  16. What does the removal of illegal aliens have to do with governments setting minimum wage?

    Ah, you slyly threw me off your trail by not talking about “removal of illegal aliens” and instead talking about “employer sanctions.” Thus, by addressing the point you actually made, I was unknowingly changing the subject, since the real subject was known only to you. Clamn dever.

  17. It seems you’ve never heard of a strict liability offense. The idea would be akin to staturoy rape in CA. “I thought she was 18, here driver’s license said so,” is not a valid defense in CA. THat’s the same way it should be for hiring illegals.

    WHHHAAATTTT?!?!?!? You mean a girl can tell you she is 23, show you documentation to prove it, and you can still get in trouble for statitory rape if she was lying?

    Did even the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany have rules that retarded?

    I don’t know what is more disturbing… the fact that California has become stupidly facist, or the fact you think this kind of retarded rules are good and should apply to other things.

  18. ChrisO,

    “Oh really? Local cops are going to routinely go over every employment eligibility form submitted to the feds by every employer in every city. Uh-huh.”

    No, I mean that local cops know the local scene and are best prepared to know who’s hiring illegals in their town and who is not.

    But it ain’t gonna happen, so don’t worry, your lawn is safe.

    JMJ

  19. But it ain’t gonna happen, so don’t worry, your lawn is safe.

    Undoubtedly, and just for the reason that I stated–much caterwauling by you “progressive” types the first time that some poor shmoe–immigrant or employer–winds up in jail.

    Just for the record, you and I might be on the same side of this issue (though I have a hard time divining your opinion on this one). I favor less restrictive immigration laws and a move to more liberal granting of temporary and longterm residency permits. Labor is mobile today, and all of the congressional grandstanding and heavy-handed policing in the world isn’t going to change that.

  20. “You might also examine the fact that a crime like statutory rape, which actually has a victim whom one can claim was harmed by the event, has no similarity to hiring an illegal alien who almost everyone agrees benefited from the transaction.”

    Tell that to the folks whose wages are depressed by illegals, whose schools are overrun with the children of illegals and whose emergency rooms have closed under the burden of being the primary care for illegals.

  21. While americans debate the issue of ilegal immigration, they rarely focus on the real source of mass migration from the south. Corruption in latin america is rampant, the largest groups migrating are the mexicans and central americans. I read often this blog and see how well intentioned americans, try to “reason” through the problem but while your goverment pays out the money to these politicians in latin america, which by the way support illegal immigration, you will never stop the migration.

  22. Tell that to the folks whose wages are depressed by illegals blah blah blah

    You don’t have to believe me, but as soon as I saw it, I recognized that the “victimless crime” argument was the weakest one expressed to hyphenatedconservative, at least in context, because if he (as others) didn’t already believe illegal arrival immigration had victims, he wouldn’t be so exercised about it. Don’t get me wrong, I fully believe it’s a victimless crime. It’s just not a good argument against the specific things hyphoman said. And so it figures that’s the one point of all the objections raised that he addressed! For my part, I’m surprised to know that legal ID is not a valid defense in statutory rape cases, but I figure a couple of things. One is that it figures. The law is an ass, the State is a bastard. They’ll do anything to hang you. That doesn’t mean that extending such behavior is good and right. Next is that it’s probably an “out” for cases where everyone and his uncle knows the kid is underage but she showed some really stupid fake ID and the guy is using that as an excuse when everyone knows it’s disengenuous. Sum it up, I’m dinstinctly queasy about this provision for statutory rape cases, but I’m at least somewhat confident it would be rarely used outside of clearcut cases. And if this provision keeps some otherwise of age kids from having fun, well that sucks (whoops, no pun intended!), but y’know, worse things. But as it applies to employment of nonlegally arrived employees? And those who could be mistaken for them? As others have pointed out, this would be clearly problematic for very clear reasons. Even if you think that unsanctioned border crossing is a “crime” because of its indirect effects, hopefully you can see how over-enforcement could create more harm than good a helluva lot more easily than it would for statutory rape!!! (Who am I kidding, you won’t be able to see that…)

  23. When I said “I’m surprised to know that legal ID is not a valid defense in statutory rape cases,” I should have either left out the word “legal” or qualified it with “seemingly”.

  24. While americans debate the issue of ilegal immigration, they rarely focus on the real source of mass migration from the south. Corruption in latin america is rampant, the largest groups migrating are the mexicans and central americans.

    I think many Americans know about this, it’s just that there isn’t much we can actually do about it. Though eliminating our financial support for them would be a good start.

  25. fyodor,

    When I throw out something like that it is with the full expectation of getting the kind of reply I got.

    I enjoy the thought of some ignorant asshole’s blood pressure rising while he gets exercised over this.

  26. “Oh, I know, I just won’t hire anyone with dark skin and a funny accent. Problem solved.”

    You try that and see how many problems the Equal Employment Opportunity Commision gives you. You can’t count that high! Do you know that prospective employees can not even be asked whether they are citizens?!

  27. Ummm, jw, did I not raise the sarcasm flag high enough there?

  28. Well, first off let me say that we all know that Democrat voters hate black people.

  29. “Ummm, jw, did I not raise the sarcasm flag high enough there?”

    Comment by: Isaac Bartram at April 12, 2006 05:32 PM

    Sure, I caught the sarcasm; I just wanted to draw attention to the idea that it is pretty atrocious to have legal sanctions against employers that hire illegals given the status of current employment law.

  30. I think many Americans know about this, it’s just that there isn’t much we can actually do about it. Though eliminating our financial support for them would be a good start.

    Actually, I think eliminating the War on Drugs would have much greater effect.

  31. Sorry, jw, I should not have been so snarky.

  32. “Unless you’re trying to keep anyone who could possibly be a Mexican or an immigrant from Mexico from getting a job in the US, what honorable reason would you have for arguing a liability system where people couldn’t use the presentation of government documents as a defense?”

    *crickets*

    Well, that clarifies that.

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