Monday Question: Immigration Motives

Coyote, in far more concise words than I probably could have generated, asks a very good question.

What I would really understand is: what drives these folks?

I will take them at their word that it is not racism.

If its violent or property crime, the stats are pretty clear that immigrants don’t really contribute to these crimes disproportionately.

If its gang violence at the border, I am wondering what people see in the law’s rules that allow easier harassment of day laborers and brown-skinned people with broken turn signals that they think is going to deter gang members supposedly armed with AK47’s.

If its competition for jobs, well, I encourage folks to learn how the economy actually works (hint: it’s dynamic, not static), and further, encourage them to figure out why they feel they can’t compete with unskilled, uneducated laborers who don’t speak the native language.

Finally, if it is, as many of my emailers claim, just a matter of the rule of law — “THEY ARE ILLEGAL” as I get in many emails, inevitably all in caps, then why not just legalize their presence? After all, I lament all the hardships associated with marijuana law enforcement but you don’t see me advocating new rules to incrementally harass potential possessors — I am grown up enough to know form history that such efforts are never going to work as long as their is an enthusiastic supply and demand. I advocate legalization.

So I’ll open this one up to the readers. I see a lot of completely wrong arguments for restricting immigration, and very few with any force (at least, very few that wouldn’t be SOLVED by a legal guest worker program bringing these people out of the permanent underclass).

So what do you think?