Robust Immigration Enforcement Will Strengthen Marriage In America by David R. Usher

© 2005 David R. Usher

First published in Men's News Daily

Reproduced with permission of the author


 

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Index

Introduction

Why illegal immigration affects the marriage market

How to end the structural problem of illegal immigration, finally


 

Introduction

October 24, 2005 — The political circus acts being paraded in front of the American public about immigration enforcement are just that. Political poses for the next elections.

We all know that the present approach towards immigration enforcement is ineffective. We also know it is absurd to apply some sort of "amnesty" provision to grandfather-in the illegals that are already here. That is an embossed invitation for more to come.

So why would a well-known family and marriage activist such as myself be interested in illegal immigration?

There are plenty of reasons — having to do with how illegal immigration drives down salaries for low-skill labor, thus affecting marriage in America.

Obviously, the employment market is a "market." The U.S. gets greatly upset when foreign subsidies allow imported goods to be made so cheaply that it unfairly puts U.S. employers out of business. Illegal immigration has the same effect on the U.S. job market — it drives market values for low-skilled salaries and benefits to levels at which Americans simply cannot afford to work. Then it adds pressure on welfare and educational systems, where legitimate Americans must then compete for limited resources against illegal aliens, for which liberal immigration advocates claim they should have equal access.

Surprisingly, President Bush cited the effect of illegal immigration as reason for allowing liberalization, when he pointed out there are many jobs the U.S. citizens will not take. By this logic we should also make drinking and driving excusable in hopes of reducing traffic fatalities.

We must deal with the cause of the problem. Some small businesses and corporations support illegal immigration because they think it benefits them. This is a false analysis. If the cost of labor for picking peanuts rises from $8 per hour to $10 per hour everywhere in America, no American company is at a competitive disadvantage. So what if the peanuts on the grocery store shelves rise 20 cents? Does anybody really care?


 

Why illegal immigration affects the marriage market

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When U.S. citizens cannot find work to support themselves and their families, all hell breaks loose in the marriage market — which depends decisively on whether or not men can provide a better income than the welfare-state. Students of the marriage market well know that when the welfare-state can provide a better living than a potential husband, women marry the welfare state, as Dr. Stephen Baskerville essentially points out in his recent article Wedded to the State. This, in turn, is the source of a deluge of intractable social problems such as divorce, illegitimacy, truancy, teen violence, child sexual abuse, domestic violence, poverty, and health-care insurance problems, which are in turn cited as reason for expanding federal programs spending billions to "alleviate" the structural problem.

Allan Carlson points out that marriage is an economic arrangement between the sexes, which can be quickly weakened or destroyed if government obfuscates the social roles, economic roles or earning capacity of men and women.

Those interested in father-absence, poor marriage rates, and unemployment in the lower income strata must understand this: illegal immigration is damaging the economics of marriage in America., particularly in the lower classes — perhaps disproportionately affecting young black men — who as young boys do not have sufficient starting employment opportunities to get a foothold in the "real world." When there is no place for a young boy to do "good," anyone can predict the future of these young men without being scholars of social science.

Government has a duty to prevent interference in the job markets so crucial to low-skilled American workers. As Rush Limbaugh pointed out — these jobs are starting jobs for young Americans. It is just a start on the ladder of life. Without this first rung — paying a reasonable wage — we lose a lot of young American men to the underground economy and crime.


 

How to end the structural problem of illegal immigration, finally

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We must make changes to make market interference by illegal aliens unprofitable. We can make cooperation by American employers profitable and even preferable. It is surprisingly simple:

1. A mandatory, automatic fine of $50,000 (or some other reasonable number to cover costs of enforcement and incarceration) should be levied against any illegal immigrant caught inside U.S. borders. The act of illegal immigration must be a criminal offense, requiring imprisonment and reimbursement to the state for all costs associated with enforcement.

2. Prisoners must be required to work during imprisonment. Companies such as CCI, and some state agencies, run prison employment programs doing everything from handling airline ticket reservations to making military equipment. Some states have prisoners doing road and other public work. Aliens must pay for enforcement costs, and "work it off." States would be allowed to set up prison-employment programs with a few employers who presently use illegal immigrants — with "wages" set at competitive free-market values. Wages would be paid to the state to cover costs of immigration enforcement and incarceration. This approach will convert the immigration problem to an expensive headache for states, to at least a break-even scenario.

3. A reward of $5,000 should be paid to employers for turning in each illegal alien who they become aware of. This will stimulate compliance.

4. There must be an automatic $20,000 fine levied against any employer for each illegal alien caught working for them. Federal and state "New Hires" reporting requirements make it impossible for employers to be unaware of a person's legal status.

This robust combination of incentives and disincentives will use illegal immigration against itself. Potential immigrants will not want to risk doing it illegally. Employers will benefit by reporting illegal aliens, and cooperating with the state in punishing them. Immigration enforcement can become a self-supporting activity and no longer be a drain on state budgets.

Most importantly, this will return America to a free-market system in the low-skilled labor market, improving marriage rates and the futures of many presently-unemployed Americans.

David R. Usher

 

David R. Usher is a Legislative Analyst for the American Coalition for Fathers and Children, Missouri Coalition.

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| EJF Home | Find Help | Join the EJF | Comments? | EJF Newsletters | Get EJF newsletter |

 

| Families And Marriage Book | Abstract | Family site map | Family index |

 

| Chapter 1 — Marriage, The Bedrock Of Civilization |

| Next — Marrying Up by Fred Reed |

| Back — A Primer Against Gay Marriage by Stephen Baskerville, Ph.D. |


 

Added January 25, 2006

Last modified 4/11/15