What I find absolutely fascinating about the immigration debate is that it's one of those issues where everybody seems to have taken extreme positions on points which are really peripheral to the central question.
As an example I give you Thomas Sowell of the conservative RealClearPolitics who takes the "Undocumented workers do the jobs Americans will not do" argument to task--
Americans will not take many jobs at their current pay levels -- and those pay levels will not rise so long as poverty-stricken immigrants are willing to take those jobs.
If Mexican journalists were flooding into the United States and taking jobs as reporters and editors at half the pay being earned by American reporters and editors, maybe people in the media would understand why the argument about "taking jobs that Americans don't want" is such nonsense.
So the only thing keeping Americans from mowing the lawn at Jack Nicholson's Hollywood mansion is the immigrant worker willing to do it for so much cheaper. Remove the pressure of the immigrant willing to work on the cheap and Voila! An American gets a high-paying job in landscaping. Makes sense.
Speaking for myself I'd rather have a well paying job in an office or a laboratory. You know the kind you have to move to India to get.
23 March 2006 -- According to Information Week, Dell Computer and consulting firm Capgemini have become the latest tech powerhouses to publicly acknowledge plans to significantly increase headcount in India in order to tap the country's highly skilled, but relatively lowly paid, IT and business services workforce.
Dell could double its current Indian workforce of 10,000 over the next three years, a company spokesman confirmed on Monday. The Times of India and other Indian newspapers reported that company chairman Michael Dell announced the plan during a weekend roundtable with business reporters in Bangalore. Dell Computer will add the new positions "if the Indian market grows the way we believe it will," the spokesman said.
The middle class is getting squeezed. On the bottom end of the middle class they're competing for jobs with migrant workers and and a decreasing number of manufacturing jobs. On the upper end of the middle class the college educated are having to compete for a dwindling number of IT jobs stateside because of outsourcing.
This is the real issue that we're skirting for all the talk of immigration reform. For the last thirty years this country has pursued economic, tax and trade policies that are detrimental to the middle class. We've pursued these policies with the twin goals or competition and productivity with idea that's good for American business is what's good for America. We need to begin to disabuse ourselves of this notion and return to the policies of the late 40's and 50's, adopting the philosophy that what's good for the middle class is what's good for America.
It is only after our government initializes reforms that grow, rather than shrink, the middle class that we'll be able to deflate the symptoms of the problem such as immigration and outsourcing. Until that point forgive me if I don't begrudge our short, orange immigrant buddies from Loompaland.