I don't get the panic over illegal immigrants. They are thoroughly woven into our economy, so it's cloud cuckoo unrealism to imagine we are going round up 12 million of them and send them back. And they are, largely, Lazarus--doing back-breaking work that we need them to do and getting crap wages for it. I've never understood the menace they allegedly represent: hard-working, largely Catholic, with a strong sense of family who have shown repeatedly that they want to make a better life for themselves and their kids. Yeah, sure, they've ignored US immigration law: a human system. Not ideal, but not the end of the world either. The reality, though, is that large segment of our economy would collapse without them. So since we have already made it clear we are willing to exploit them, I think the real onus is, as ever, on the powerful rather than the powerless. Weak and hungry people who fudge on a human law are guilty, it seems to me, of a venial sin at best. Powerful people who exploit the poor and the alien and deny the worker his wages are guilty of three of the sins that cry out to heaven for judgement.Read the whole thing here.1867 The catechetical tradition also recalls that there are "sins that cry to heaven": the blood of Abel, the sin of the Sodomites, the cry of the people oppressed in Egypt, the cry of the foreigner, the widow, and the orphan, injustice to the wage earner.Such is the fractured nature of American politics that the first two sins are sacred rights defended as "freedom of choice" and "the right to gay marriage" by the Left, while the latter three sins are solemnly defended pillars of any conservative worth his salt. We'll take the powerless migrant's labor, denounce him for doing it and then defend the guy who pays him crap wages. Any sympathy for the poor and powerless laborer is bleeding heart liberalism and (naturellement) incipient socialism.
I think that any attempt to solve the problem of illegal immigration is going to have to be clear about why it's a problem in the first place: that is, we have to identify the powerful corporate interests that entice (and even bus) immigrants into our country to do the jobs that these corporations won't pay Americans to do. And before we start punishing the illegal immigrant, we need to punish American businesses that insist that in order to maintain the level of stockholder profit they've become used to, they can't afford to hire Americans.
Because I don't believe there are jobs Americans won't do. I do, however, believe that there are plenty of companies out there who won't pay Americans to do the jobs their companies depend on. Let's make sure that the proper share of blame gets placed where it belongs, on the issue of illegal immigration.