US Immigration Policy

(See here) a Newsweek article by Fareed Zakaria that discusses US immigration policy, specifically as it relates to illegal immigrants.

I think I have a rather unique viewpoint on this issue. Some might describe my "solution" as being counter intuitive.

I propose that America sign up the 11 or 12 million illegal immigrants already in our society as guest workers. I am not saying that this is what makes my proposal unique, as this is what is being debated. What is unique in my proposal is that the guest workers would be limited to certain occupations. They would only be allowed to be employed in jobs where the employer is threatened by direct foreign competition.

What I am saying is that guest workers should be barred from many of the service and construction jobs that they currently serve in. These jobs MUST be performed in America, face no foreign competition, and they should be reserved for American citizens.

Those that are pro guest worker say illegal immigrants fill only jobs Americans are unwilling to do. I say bullshit. I put forth that American citizens will be willing to do ANY job that needs to be done as long as the employer is willing to pay enough to make it worth the employees time to do the work. American citizens are just unwilling to do slave labor at low wages. Up the size of the paycheck and American's will line up to apply for the work.

The problem with this is when foreign competition enters the equation. If the employer increases the size of the payroll, will the product he produces remain competitive with foreign made goods that enjoy the benefit of cheap foreign labor? Probably not. American consumers themselves will not be willing to pay more for a television "made in America" that is of no better quality then one produced in China that sells for considerably less money.

I would rather buy a television made in America by Mexicans then one produced in China made by Chinese, as long as the price was about the same and the quality was equal.

American manufacturers are packing up their facilities and moving production to China at an alarming rate. If we give these manufacturers the ability to hire cheaper labor maybe they will keep the facilities here in America where they will be paying American taxes and contributing to the American economy.

Some may say this is crazy. Manufacturing is where all the best paying jobs are in America, that if we give all these jobs to guest workers the only thing left will be the low paying jobs that illegal immigrants currently do. But what happens if we bar all the illegal immigrants (and the guest workers) from these occupations? Doesn't the law of supply and demand kick in? Wouldn't there then become a huge demand for labor in these occupations and wouldn't employers have to increase what they are willing to pay in order to attract enough workers? I can't speak for everyone, but I know that I would leave my present occupation and take up cleaning toilets for a living if it paid enough. Problem now with taking up toilet cleaning for a living is that so many illegal immigrants are willing to do it for a whole lot less then I would demand to do it.

We MUST do something in order to allow American manufacturers to compete successfully with the Chinese here within America's shores. If we do nothing, American workers are going to slowly lose these "good paying" jobs to foreign competition anyway as American manufacturers are forced out of business or move their production to China.

If we allow American manufacturers to hire guest workers, we could even see new production facilities opening here in America. These facilities would also generate jobs for Americans in areas that are reserved for American workers.

With a wisely implemented guest worker program we could kill two birds with one stone. We could solve the illegal immigration problem and lessen the low labor cost advantage China enjoys at the same time.

Our representatives in government need to start coming up with solutions to these problems with consideration as to their long term effects. Yes, my proposal might cause some short term hardships as the American economy adjusts to the changes, but in the long term everyone will be better off.


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