Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Conflicting Immigration Policies From Different Levels Of Government

A recent Houston Chronicle story discusses the possible impact on the local ecomony from increased enforcement of immigration laws.   

The story says some local employers have formed a group to lobby for, in essence, non-enforcement of immigration laws.

They won’t put it that way. But that’s what it is.  

I’ve long had the view that immigration is good and I welcome immigrants to the United States.

Immigrants bother me far less than the native population. The native population is often annoying.

Still, I was struck in the article by the suggestion that road construction work would be slowed by a crackdown on undocumented workers.  

I noted this for two reasons.

First is that we have one branch of government–at the federal level—conflicting with government at the more local level.

Talk about a policy mess. I know this road work is being done by contractors hiring undocumented persons. But can’t we get some policy coherence?

The federal government can say what what it wants. Still, if a big place like the Houston-area is not on board, federal policies, to the extent they exist, will have limited meaning. 

The other thing, despite my support of immigration, is why are people breaking the law getting jobs funded by taxpayers? Public money should not be used to help break the law.

In this case, the laws should be changed to allow an easier path to citizenship for undocumented people.

At the same time, government-sponsored work should come with good wages and benefits. If these things were offered, the native-born population would want these jobs in the first place   

I’m not going to solve the immigration question in a blog post. 

What I feel can be said is the current setup leads to exploited immigrants, low-paying jobs for the American-born population, an absence of respect for the law, and big profits for business places that will do whatever they can get away with doing.           

April 4, 2008 - Posted by | Houston, Immigration | ,

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