"How did it come to pass that an opposition's measure of a president's foreign policy was all or nothing, success or "failure"? The answer is that the political absolutism now normal in Washington arrived at the moment--Nov. 7, 2000--that our politics subordinated even a war against terror to seizing the office of the presidency." - Daniel Henninger - WSJ 11/18/05
"the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." - George Orwell

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Economics of illegal immigration

The former INS Commissioner under Bill Clinton agrees that the system is "broken" and sees it as a market issue of supply and demand. OK, fine, but again, we're talking about what to do after the border is secure and we begin to enforce our laws.

"They may have broken the immigration law, but they are not criminals in the way that we think about criminals." - Doris Meissner

"They have broken the immigration law, and they are law breakers in the way that we think about law breakers."- Blandly Urbane
From the Rocky Mountain News

Ex-INS leader sees influx as matter of supply and demand

The economic growth in the U.S. during the 1990s was spurred partly by legal and illegal immigrants that filled a hole in the labor market left by an aging population, the former INS commissioner under President Clinton said Wednesday.

"So we have now a situation where we're in a different demographic," Doris Meissner told an audience for the Denver World Affairs Council at the Brown Palace Hotel.

Meissner is a senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute, where she is spearheading a soon-to-be published yearlong study on immigration in the U.S.

"Immigration, particularly illegal immigration, has in the last five to eight, nine years really become a national phenomenon," she said.

Meissner said there's been an explosion of immigration across the country, including in states like Georgia, Kansas and Nebraska that had not seen large-scale immigration in more than a century.

The influx of new immigrants has caused concern in those states about how to deal with the issue. "It has been very jarring for them," she said.

If there is one point of agreement in the immigration debate, Meissner said, it's that the system is broken.

"It does not work, it has not worked effectively on a whole range of key measures."

In addition to border enforcement, Meissner said there must be a guest worker program "because of the demographic that I talked about. You have to see illegal immigration as a market and regulate it," Meissner said.

"This is supply and demand that is at work," Meissner said after her speech. "And we call some of it legal and we call the rest of it illegal, but that doesn't matter to a market, a market functions.

"So if you think about it as a market then it is a question of regulating that market so that there are some rules," she said.

Meissner said the demonstrations around the country have been successful in putting a human face to the issue and telling people that "They may have broken the immigration law, but they are not criminals in the way that we think about criminals."

**This was a production of The Coalition Against Illegal Immigration (CAII). If you would like to participate, please go to the above link to learn more. Afterwards, email the coalition and let me know at what level you would like to participate.**


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