He jumpstarts the article with the story of Librado Velasquez -- who worked off-the-books (with no health insurance, of course). He was injured on-the-job (no worker's comp, either) and had to be treated at public expense at the local emergency room. "After five operations, he is now permanently disabled and has remained in the United States to pursue compensation claims."
Cheap labor, subsidized by taxpayers.
Malanga counters my observation that immigration as percent of population is below historical levels. The difference, he insists, is that immigrants in the late 1800s were educated and culturally more in tune with the country. Today's illegal immigrants, he asserts, tend to lack even a high school education come from agrarian cultures/jobs to a country with few opportunities in agriculture.
Unlike US Liberals Guide Deborah White, Malanga opposes the guest worker program endorsed by President Bush.
Careful economic research tells us that there is no significant shortfall of workers in essential American industries, desperately needing supplement from a massive guest-worker program...
The potential woes of a guest-worker program, moreover, far overshadow any economic benefit, given what we know about the long, troubled history of temporary-worker programs in developed countries. They have never stemmed illegal immigration, and the guest workers inevitably become permanent residents, competing with the native-born and forcing down wages...
The Senate and President Bush, however, aim to start two-thirds of the 11 million undocumented aliens already in the country on a path to legalization, on the grounds that only thus can America assimilate them, and only through assimilation can they hope for economic success in the United States. But such arguments ignore the already poor economic performance of increasingly large segments of the legal immigrant population in the United States. Merely granting illegal aliens legal status won’t suddenly catapult them up our mobility ladder, because it won’t give them the skills and education to compete.
Immigration is just one of the issues stalled in Congress at the moment. Congressmen seem more interested in votes that are light on problem-solving but heavy on 30-second commercial soundbite "appeals to the base." It is, after all, an election year.