ARIZONA —The cardinal rule of training a dog is to never give a command you cannot make stick. When you begin training an animal to stay, you give the command when the dog is about four inches from your hand. When the dog doesn’t stay, you move immediately to correct it. If you began by giving the command “stay” to a new dog and then walking three blocks away, you’d never expect the dog to stay. You would have taught the dog nothing but to ignore you when you say “stay.”
The same is true with laws. You should only pass laws you can make work. Passing laws that don’t work, like Prohibition, just make criminals. They never achieve the desired effect. They teach people to flaunt the law and hurt the communities they’re meant to help.
The Arizona law falls in this category of legislation. It really will have very little effect apart from making outlaws out of entire communities. It will effectively deprive entire communities of police and fire protection by making authorities a danger to members of the community. Let us say your apartment catches fire. If you call the fire department, the police will come. If the police come, they will take away some of your neighbors, your customers, your friends, etc. And this is the complexion of the law for legal citizens who live in these communities.
I have never understood how Republicans can believe so staunchly in the power and inevitability of markets and fail to understand that the illegal immigrant problem in this country is a market. These people come here because there is a market for their labor. They keep coming here for that reason. While there is demand for illegal immigrants, illegal immigrants will continue to come to fill that demand. It isn’t rocket science.
You don’t try to affect a market by placing disincentives on end consumers. That’s like trying to make people buy seat belts for their cart by placing a tax on cars sold without seat belts. The way to get seat belts in cars is to make the manufacturers put them in. The way to deal with the market for illegal immigrants is to deal harshly and effectively against the people who employ them.
Walmart is a good example of how this works. They don’t employ illegal aliens in their stores. That would be stupid. They employ a sub-contractor to perform services at a rate that can only be profitable if you employ illegal aliens. When this firm is busted, Walmart claims ignorance and hires another firm at the same rate to do the same thing.
What is needed is to approach this problem in some of the same ways as the government went against organized crime. You have to look at the money very closely and determine patterns of abuse and then you need to aggressively prosecute as high up the organization chain of command as you can possibly get. You’ll never get major corporations to desist from hiring illegals by proxy until some vice-presidents and CFO’s get real jail time for these crimes.
Illegal aliens are bad for this country. They depress wages and they incur a wide variety of social expenses that affect businesses and depress entire legitimate markets. If we are serious about facing this issue, then we need to begin to implement legislation that has some hope of working to mitigate the problem. This is a difficult task. It is the people who are making millions from exploiting illegal aliens who need to be taken down, and wealthy people are notoriously difficult to bring to justice in the United States. Continuing to implement unworkable fixes that don’t address the core issues of the problem will do very little more than make millions of people miserable while local governments go bankrupt trying to enforce these laws.