Location: Granite Falls, North Carolina, United States

I'm an ordained United Methodist minister no longer pastoring churches, a former media producer with skills ten years out of date, a writer trying to sell my first novel, and a sales associate keeping body and soul together working for the People's Republic of Corporate America. I'm married to the most wonderful woman in the world, who was my best friend for 17 years before we married.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

On immigration

I have been following the immigration debate closely, since I wait on so many Hispanics in my work.

Let's look at who benefits from the current situation: big businesses that want the cheapest labor possible. They send every job they can overseas, mostly to China at present, but when a cheaper labor market opens up, Chinese factories will be history. For the jobs they can't export they want to hire the cheapest labor they can, so they hire illegals who will work for any wage they can get, especially since it is so much more than they could earn at home.

Now, it has been illegal to hire undocumented workers since the late 1980s, but who will enforce the current law? The big businesses that hire illegal aliens are the same ones who finance the politicians who write and enforce these laws. What politician in today's world is going to bite the hand that feeds and controls them? Ain't gonna happen, as they say.

So, when I propose doubling the minimum wage for all undocumented workers, it's an exercise in futility, because if they won't enforce the present law, they won't enforce that one, either.

The main thing is to remember that these aliens are human beings, created in God's image the same as all people all over the world, and that God loves them as much as He loves us.

Making them criminals won't work, increasing the penalties (which aren't being enforced anyway) for hiring them won't work.

We need to put our emphasis on improving conditions back in their home countries so they won't have the incentive to look for a better life here, plus working to assimilate those who are here now. Every person has something to offer society, and we need to benefit from each one.


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