August 11, 2007


Immigration rules may hurt economy: Crackdown on employers could cause havoc in agriculture, healthcare and other industries, Chertoff acknowledges. (Nicole Gaouette, August 11, 2007, LA Times)

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff predicted painful economic fallout from the array of immigration enforcement measures the administration unveiled Friday in an attempt to choke off the jobs "magnet" that draws illegal immigrants.

The changes, which would stiffen work-site enforcement, add border agents and increase penalties for rogue employers, could cause havoc in immigrant-dependent industries like agriculture, hospitality and healthcare, Chertoff acknowledged. "There will be some unhappy consequences for the economy out of doing this," he said in an interview with The Times.

It's no coincidence that the Great Depression was preceded by immigration restrictions and protectionist legislation.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 11, 2007 7:18 AM

Yep, the Homeland Security secretary is the most economically astute person in this administration. No wonder the administration cannot get either the economy or homeland security right.

Michael Chertoff is an outstanding example of the Peter Principle. It is hard to come up with a more incompetent cabinet officer, a group not particularly known for competency.

Posted by: sam at August 11, 2007 9:52 AM

Right. A booming economy and no successful attacks on the homeland since 9/11. What a bunch of incompetents...

Posted by: Jorge Curioso at August 11, 2007 1:13 PM

Immigration had *zip* to do with the Depression! There was hardly a labor shortage at the time. Sheesh.

OJ, you seem to forget that somehow the nation managed to do pretty well for quite a long time without massive illegal immigration....

Posted by: PapayaSF at August 11, 2007 5:27 PM

PapayaSf, If you close your back on the world, you can't sell to the world. Funny that a country based on trade would have a surplus of labor after......
Second, we have had massive immigration since the finding of this place, so you must be playing games with "illegal". Yes it's true, under the new leftist idea that being behind on your paperwork is worth a death sentence, they are "illegal". If they murdered someone with their car it would be ok, but not having the correct internal passport? Crossed a line there! Has anyone got a example of a goverment system that works so well that you are happy to give it the power of life and death over you?
Illegal as a term should be saved for crimes, you know, acts that hurt people. PapayaSF, are you really saying that people should lose their citizenship because the tags on their cars have expired? Cause that's the level of the offense we are talking about.

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at August 11, 2007 5:53 PM

Yes, we only tanked after illegal immigration was invented.

Posted by: oj at August 11, 2007 8:14 PM

Opposing illegal immigration is not closing off the world. Legal != illegal. The idea that it's a leftist idea is hogwash. You and OJ have bought into the leftist nonsense that this country was built on illegal immigration. That's just word games. Obviously neither you nor OJ live where there are competing Hispanic gangs and "day laborers" hanging out on streetcorners, drinking and littering and sharing joints. All part of OJ's "superior culture." Riiiight....

Posted by: PapayaSF at August 12, 2007 1:29 AM

PapayaSF, when legal immigration takes a generation and a king's ransom, then opposing illegal immigration is closing off the world. If we could go back to the one day ellis island immigration system, your complaint would be valid. Both OJ and I understand that this country was built on immigration, it's your side playing word games with "illegal". Not having your papers in order is not what any normal person considers a felony. No American expects to spend time in jail for expired tags, and that's just as illegal as immigrating without paying your bribes to the INS.
As to my living conditions, I live across the street from section 8 housing, and once had someone shoot the back door to my store. It's true, no Hispanics gangs or "day laborers" are involved, these "jobs" are still safely American in Newport News. But thanks for reforcing the sterotype of anti immigration foes being racist.....

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at August 12, 2007 4:15 AM

It was never illegal until the Applied Darwinist 20s.

Posted by: oj at August 12, 2007 6:30 AM

"Immigration rules may hurt economy"? Are they kidding, hurting the economy is the object. No one on the left cares two pins about immigrants.

Posted by: erp at August 12, 2007 1:42 PM

I want illegal immigration to to be easier. And it's not racist to report what I see in my neighborhood. If it was Norwegian gangs and day laborers, I'd gripe about it in the exact same way.

Posted by: PapayaSF at August 12, 2007 6:33 PM

No, you wouldn't.

Posted by: oj at August 12, 2007 8:01 PM

Yikes, OJ pulls out the Monty Python argument method. No chance for you now, PapayaSF...

Posted by: darryl at August 12, 2007 11:27 PM

It's about culture, class, and language, not race.

Posted by: PapayaSF at August 13, 2007 7:40 PM


Posted by: oj at August 13, 2007 11:13 PM

Enforcing existing workplace laws only makes sense.

Looking the other way as illegal workers provide US companies an underground labor force that is not subject to labor laws enjoyed by citizens is not conceptually different than slavery.

The Party of Lincoln should not be for that. It's time for this "peculiar institution" to go and one way for it to go is to enforce existing workplace laws. If Americans find the enforcement too costly, then we can revisit the matter legislatively.

Posted by: Kevin Whited at August 14, 2007 9:58 AM

All the Dred Scott folks wanted was enforcement. Enforcing immoral laws is immoral.

Posted by: oj at August 14, 2007 12:24 PM