Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 20, 2007 / 1 Nissan 5767

What if we deport them all?

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby
Printer Friendly Version
Email this article


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "Not often do I disagree with your views, but on illegal aliens we are a world apart," writes V., one of many readers I heard from after suggesting last week that the best solution to our illegal immigration problem might be to make more immigration legal. "My view, unlike yours, is to secure the borders by whatever means possible. Arrest, imprison, and heavily fine employers who hire illegals. Apprehend and deport illegals no matter how long it takes — years, if necessary.


"The American people," V. concludes, "overwhelmingly want these illegals out of the country."


Actually, only about one American in four feels that way. According to a new Gallup poll, when asked to choose among three options — deporting all illegal immigrants, allowing them to remain temporarily in the United States to work, or allowing them to stay permanently and become US citizens after meeting certain conditions — a majority, 59 percent, chose permanent legalization. Fifteen percent favored the temporary-worker option. Just 24 percent supported deportation. Even when broken down by party loyalty, legalization remains the preferred course.


What the throw-'em-out school lacks in numbers it more than makes up for in vehemence, as anyone tuning in to the immigration debate soon discovers . But the raucous demand for ever-tougher border security tends to drown out a disconcerting fact: It doesn't work. The harder we make it for illegal immigrants to enter the country, the more unwilling they are to leave once they get here.


"Between 1986 and 2002 the number of Border Patrol officers tripled," notes Princeton sociologist Douglas Massey, an expert on Mexican migration, "and the number of hours they spent patrolling the borders . . . grew by a factor of about eight." As its budget exploded from $151 million to $1.6 billion, the Border Patrol became "the largest arms-bearing branch of the US government next to the military itself."


Yet driving up the risks and costs of crossing the border hasn't shrunk the number of illegal immigrants crossing the border — only the number prepared to run that gauntlet more than once. Historically, Mexican migrants came to the United States sporadically, working for a while, then heading home. Now, millions figure it is better to stay put and risk deportation than to go back to Mexico and risk being unable to return. In 1986, the probability that an illegal entering from Mexico would leave within 12 months was around 45 percent. Today it is half that.


Nevertheless, suppose that V. and others got their wish, and 12 million illegal immigrants were forced out. What then?


As millions of farm hands, busboys, chambermaids, and garment workers vanished, who would take their places? Unemployed US citizens? With unemployment down to 4.5 percent, there aren't 12 million of them to spare. Even if there were, not many native-born Americans are prepared to accept the low wages and hard conditions that characterize so much illegal-immigrant labor.


Hard-liners insist that there are no "jobs Americans won't do" if the pay is right. Well, how much would an employer have to pay *you* to pick lettuce or clean hotel rooms for a living? A lot of jobs that pay, say, $8 an hour and are acceptable to a Mexican or Guatemalan alien with little education, few skills, and a fear of being deported would evaporate at the $16 an hour Americans would demand. With more expensive labor would come more reliance on machines instead of people, more outsourcing to cheaper labor markets, more closing of no-longer-profitable ventures. If illegal immigrants disappeared, countless jobs would disappear with them.


Pull 12 million low-skilled workers out of the economy, and the cost of everything from yardwork to restaurant meals would soar. Higher costs would mean lower profits and disposable income, less investment, weaker growth.


"Some 1.2 million illegals are believed to work in construction," Holman Jenkins wrote in the Wall Street Journal last June. "If the cost of home building goes up, demand goes down: Less wood is sold, fewer nails, fewer power tools, fewer pickup trucks. Contractors would make less profit; ergo, Harley-Davidson would sell fewer Road Kings with all the chrome and finery."


And the ripples wouldn't stop there. Without the affordable child care provided by legions of immigrant nannies, many working mothers would have to quit their jobs and stay home. As the baby boomers approached old age, millions of new elder-care positions — jobs now filled disproportionately by immigrants — would go begging, or become considerably more costly. Subtract 12 million illegals and you subtract as well the $7 billion a year they pay into Social Security, as well as the additional billions many of them pay in federal income taxes.


The United States creates more than 400,000 new low-skill jobs each year, a tremendous employment magnet for hundreds of thousands of foreign workers. But because US law authorizes only 5,000 visas annually for low-skilled immigrants, there is simply no lawful way for most of the workers we need to enter the country. So they enter unlawfully — a wrongful act, perhaps, but hardly an evil one.


Immigration is good for America. So is respect for the law. Nothing forces us to choose between them. As long as there is work for them to do here, immigrants will keep crossing the border. Wouldn't we all be better off if we let them cross it legally?

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.

Jeff Jacoby Archives

© 2006, Boston Globe

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles