Why the immigration bill failed

Illegal immigration is better for employers than legal immigration, and the Republicans aren’t going to take it away from them.

Who are the big gainers from a system that limits immigration on paper but allows it in practice? Why, employers, of course. They get a labor force that’s cheap not merely because the workers are poor but because they are legally helpless.

Sunday’s New York Times reports on a farmer who says out loud what his fellow-employers are thinking:

Some [employers] expressed concern about the provision that would have granted citizenship to immigrants who had been in the United States for at least five years, saying it might have encouraged them to quit or be less productive.

“The illegals are probably better workers than the legal ones,” said Mike Gonya, who farms 2,800 acres of wheat and vegetables near Fremont, Ohio. “The legal ones know the system. They know legal recourse. The illegal ones will bust their butts.”

Any who thinks that the Party of Ownership is going to break up this sweet deal for the owning class had better think again.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com