Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Quick Update on Immigration

The immigration debate is mind blowing to me and the lack of real coverage is scary. HR 4437 will affect specifically 11 million workers. If the House version being championed by Lamar Smith passes, it will make it a felony to employ undocumented workers.

Some quick stats on small businesses from the US Small Business Administration:
• Represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms.
• Employ half of all private sector employees.
• Pay 45 percent of total U.S. private payroll.
• Have generated 60 to 80 percent of net new jobs annually over the last decade.
• Create more than 50 percent of nonfarm private gross domestic product (GDP).
• Produce 13 to 14 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms. These patents are twice as likely as large firm patents to be among the one percent most cited.
• Made up 97 percent of all identified exporters and produced 26 percent of the known export value in FY 2002.

Ignore for a second any bias you may have. If the House version passes, then we are talking about a major hit in Gross Domestic Product. We are going to make it a felony for people to employ or transport undocumented workers. We are going to make it a felony for churches, mosques, temples, and synagogues to perform humanitarian aide, and any member of any place of worship that does perform aide, is assisting in a felony.

There is working to protect our borders (i.e. actually checking all of the materials coming in our ports. Creating worker programs. Developing a policy that is not based on catch and release at the border. These are good ideas. Punishing a church for feeding someone is discriminatory.

This post was inspired by another good piece at Grit’s for Breakfast and the People’s Republic of Seabrook. Also, Capital Annex has the news about 1,500 Dallas students walking out of classes to protest HR 4437.


At 9:12 AM, Anonymous David H. said...

You might want to point out that there are already laws in place punishing businesses that employ undocumented workers and (I've heard it but I can't back it up with a source) there's already a huge shortage of resources to enforce those existing laws.

Also, and this is just me, I cringe every time I hear that immigrants are "doing jobs Americans won't." Americans won't do them at the wage those employers are offering. This bill isn't about security, it's about protectionism. Thus, it will drive up prices for U.S. goods, along with all the baggage that brings.

You might want to bring up that increasing enforcement instead of using incentives for foreign workers increases financial costs for us and human costs for them. More Mexicans will die trying to cross, while more taxes are diverted from actual security programs to keep willing workers out of the U.S.

At 10:33 PM, Anonymous Demosthenes said...

Is John Courage going to make some hay out of this?


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