I thought I’d look into what it takes for aliens to work here legally and I am surprised at what I found. Turns out that employers are the ones breaking the law more so than aliens:
It is the employer’s responsibility to report an individual’s desire to work temporarily (or seasonal) and file for the H-2a program (for agricultural workers). It is also the employer’s responsibility to demonstrate that there is not a sufficient pool of American workers to fill the positions among other requirements. Assuming the H-2a program is being followed, an alien has up to 3 continuous years to work temporarily before being required to stay our of country for 3 months. Our own companies seem to be starting this whole immigration mess!!!
There are two factors that encourage this behavior:
1: The minimum wage laws that must be obeyed increase the cost of production and make those businesses who try to follow immigration laws no longer competitive with those who don’t.
2: The rediculous ways in which U.S. income is taxed makes reporting such immigrants considerably more expensive. Unfortunately, this also means that those immigrants are also being exploited by increasing profit margins through reduced tax liability.
We need to fix our country before even thinking about paying any attention to Mexico’s internal problems as suggested by some. From a Libertarian standpoint, Federal income tax and income tax in general are the first hurdles to overcome. At the same time we need to hold employers accountable to immigration laws. Since being in this country without a Visa doesn’t appear to be necessarily illegal, I am actually somewhat more sympathetic to the plight of alien workers. I’m not excusing willful disregard for our laws, but the laws appear to be broken by us first which sets a bad precedent. Assuming an alien is actually aware of the H-2A program, I wonder how many of them are told that their “paperwork is being taken care of” only to be blown off. There is really no other option for someone who has no desire to become a US citizen, but wants to work here seasonally.
I am aware that there are MANY dangerous illegal activites associated with illegal immigration, but the immigration debate is being centered around what are otherwise migrant workers who are unto themselves not a problem for us. I’ve got nothing against people coming into our country to work legally. However, I don’t have a language barrier to hinder my understanding of the law and if I were an alien I am left to believe from what I have read that so long as my employer is aware that I am in this country as a temporary worker, then I have done all I need to to work (and live) here legally for a significant period of time. So, I am forced to ask why migrant foreign workers are part of the debate at all when our laws encourage them to come here? It’s starting to look like they are just politically easy targets in light of our own economic struggles.
What a mess!