The Liberal Left in the United States is worked up in a fit over the state of Arizona’s new immigration law that allows police to make sure a person is a legal immigrant and fines those who transport or hire illegal immigrants. The Left is lobbing charges of racism, threatening lawsuits and boycotts and even the President of the United States is trying to find a way to trump the Arizona law.
Such is puzzling for a group of people that claim to champion the causes of those who are underprivileged. They are simply not thinking their passions through. While they might see their opposition to the Arizona legislation and similar measures in other states as something to help the poor immigrant stay here and make a better life, in fact lax immigration laws exploit the illegal.
Here is how. Suppose a man from Honduras wants to go work in the United States. Instead of going through the proper channels, he instead gets in touch with some criminal element in his country that works with a criminal element in Mexico. The man pays for the passage to America, sometimes in money, sometimes with things as outrageous as giving up a wife or daughter for sexual favors or carrying drugs across the border.
Once in the United States, the man still owes the criminal element that got him to the United States. The employer he works for does not pay the man, but instead pays the “manager” of the immigrant workers. This happens with legal immigrants as well. Things like transportation and living costs are deducting from the man’s pay. The man works a tough hard physical job all day and at the end of the day might end up with a cheap meal and a few dollars for his labor. The “manager” gets the bulk of the money. The American businessman or farmer saves on the labor costs of actually hiring workers under federal and state laws by contracting out the work to the “manager.” There are some cases where illegal immigrants working in such a scheme do not get paid at all.
The illegal worker from Honduras in the example has no recourse. He cannot complain to anyone that he has been exploited. He lives in fear of the United States government and the people who got him to the United States. Indeed, he is part of the dark side of the American underground economy that no one likes to admit exists.
The folks in Arizona and other states realized it does exist. Their measures might not be perfect, but they are step in the right direction, not only to protect the borders of the United States, but to protect illegal immigrants from the exploitation of criminal elements. Liberals should applaud such measures as they eventually will bring sunshine on the exploitation of illegal immigrants. Indeed, tough measures against illegal immigration not only help the illegal immigrant not to be exploited, but it protects the rights of the citizens and the legal immigrants and those who employ them.
There are other ideas out there about how to deal with the problem. However, anyone with any sense of social justice cannot support the current system which traps people in a prison of exploitation and punishes workers and employers for obeying the law, while opening our borders to drug dealers and possible terrorists.