Saturday, June 29, 2013

Criminalizing Employers Inside America's "Golden Door"

A letter appeared in the New Jersey Star-Ledger on April 16, 2013 under the heading "Don't Forget Employers." The letter writer refers to "the most important factor in the immigration debate, . . .employers of illegal immigrants" when he said:

Employers entice people to come to the United States illegally by giving them work when unemployment is at record levels. Why aren’t we putting them in jail for taking money from unemployed citizens?

I left these comments:

RE: Don't Forget Employers

What facts do you offer to back up your claim that hiring illegal aliens equates to "taking money from unemployed citizens," Jerry? Someone else didn't get the jobs, and therefor are not entitled to money they didn't earn. On your premise that the hiring of one person is taking from those who didn't get the job, then every worker and every employer is a criminal, so long as there is anyone out of work. On your premise, we might as well declare jobs to be illegal, and we can all live alone on isolated, self-sustaining farms in abject poverty, if we survive at all.

The problem of high unemployment--which, by the way, is not "at record levels"--is not the fault of people who want to come to America to work, or employers who hire them in a voluntary contract that hurts no one and violates no one's rights. The current dismal employment situation is caused by massive government intervention into the economy, such as minimum wage laws, massive business regulations, and the government policies that led to the housing bubble and  "Great Recession." 

"The most important factor in the immigration debate" is individual rights. The illegal immigrant problem is caused by the restrictive immigration policies of this country, which violates the inalienable rights of people to live and work in the country of their choice--America--thus forcing these productive people into black market status. Criminalizing innocent, productive businessmen as the solution to the problems caused by unjust immigration laws is consistent with a totalitarian collectivist state, not the civil, open, rights-respecting society America was intended to be. Don't forget the "New Colossus" plaque mounted inside the Pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. America the Golden Door!: We should live up to it's promise.

The aforementioned plaque in the Statue of Liberty contains the sonnet by Emma Lazarus. Here it is in its entirety. You will recognize the famous, oft-repeated phrase within it:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

What an economic powerhouse those tired and poor helped to build

Related Reading:

Individual Rights, The Ayn Rand Center 

No comments: