April 10, 2006

A Modest Proposal

Mark Steyn:
Here's my immigration "compromise": We need to regularize the situation of the 298 million non-undocumented residents of the United States. Right now, we get a lousy deal compared with the 15 million fine upstanding members of the Undocumented American community. I think the 298 million of us in the overdocumented segment of the population should get the chance to be undocumented. You know when President Bush talks about all those undocumented people "living in the shadows"? Doesn't that sound kinda nice? Living in the shadows, no government agencies harassing you for taxes and numbers and paperwork.

Go ahead, try it. In Michelle Malkin's book Invasion, she recounts the tale of two fellows who in August 2001 pulled into a 7-Eleven parking lot in Falls Church, Va., in search of fake ID from the illegal-alien assistance network that hangs around there. Luis Martinez-Flores, who'd been living here illegally since 1994, took them along to the local DMV, supplied them with a fake address and falsely certified they lived there. The very next day, the two guys returned with two pals of their own, and used their own brand-new state ID on which the ink was not yet dry to obtain in turn brand-new state ID for their buddies. A couple of weeks later, all four of them used their Virginia ID to board American Airlines Flight 77 at Dulles Airport and plowed it into the Pentagon.

Think about that. From undocumented illegal alien in the 7-Eleven parking lot to lawful resident of the State of Virginia in just a couple of hours. Wow. Say what you like about Luis Martinez-Flores, but he runs one efficient operation.

By comparison, say you've got two kids under 5, and you'd like to bring over a nice English nanny to look after them. Name of Mary Poppins. Good references, impeccable character. If you apply now, there's a sporting chance the process may be completed before your children's children are in college.

Given that the new immigration "compromise" bill retrospectively approves all the millions of people who've been through the super-efficient Luis Martinez-Flores immigration system but without doing anything to improve the sclerotic U.S. government immigration system, maybe it would be better just to subcontract the entire operation to Senor Martinez-Flores and his colleagues. It would certainly be cheaper. . .

. . . How about "the jobs Americans won't do"? Most of them would be more accurately categorized as the jobs American employers won't hire Americans to do -- that's to say, in a business culture ever more onerously regulated, the immigration status of one's employees has become one of the easiest means of controlling costs. I see no reason why this would change, and given that, as a matter of policy, U.S. illegal-immigration law is not enforced by the U.S. government, it's hard to know why private employers should do it.


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