It was hoped that, with all of the workers leaving their lawn mowing, roofing and house cleaning jobs, the economy would grind to a screeching halt. Unfortunately, according to the AP, the only major businesses harmed were Mexican food restaurants.
The rallies shut down 29 branches of Chipotle Mexican Grill, a Denver-based fast-casual dining chain. Goya Foods, which bills itself as the nation's largest Hispanic-owned food chain, suspended delivery everywhere except Florida in what the company called a gesture of solidarity.As you may have guessed, I'm not a supporter of illegal immigrants ditching school and their jobs. I think it sends the wrong message. It doesn't really say they want to be American citizens, it says they want to be illegal immigrants with benefits.
Of course, I can't really put all the blame for these demonstrations on the illegal immigrants themselves. They are being led by people of questionable motive.
And, the proposal itself was stupid. The reaction among illegal immigrant groups was predictable, and I suspect that the authors of the proposed legislation hoped it would cause a nice little media diversion. When was the last time campaign finance corruption made front page news?
But now we are in a position where neither side can back down. Obviously, you can't just make 11 million people felons with the stroke of a pen. We just don't have the resources to round up and incarcerate/deport 11 million people. And even if we did, these workers are integral to our economy. I don't think we really want to face the economic consequences of removing 11 million or so workers.
On the other hand, we don't have the resources to absorb the 11 million illegal immigrants as American citizens. Our strained social welfare programs, such as they are, just couldn't handle the added demand.
Some people view this as a racial, anti-Hispanic issue. That's ridiculous.
Calling me racist against Latinos because I don't approve of illegal immigration is like calling me racist against Italians because I don't condone organized crime.
It's simply a matter of integration. One need only look at the recent riots in France and its 20 percent unemployment among some groups to get a taste of the affects of mass immigration without a system for integration.
The illegal immigration question comes down to this proposition: We can't deport 11 million people because our economy is dependent on these workers, and we can't grant citizenship to everyone because we simply don't have the resources.
The unpopular answer, unfortunately, is to look the other way and move forward with the status quo.
But that doesn't score any political points for anyone and it's not much fun to blog about.
tagged: illegal immigration, reform, Hispanic, Latino, policy, culture, France, race, politics