Tuesday, October 09, 2007

'GMA' Discourages Enforcement of Immigration Laws.

The shortage of labor has some low-skill employers in a bind. According to “Good Morning America” co-host Diane Sawyer, you can thank U.S. immigration officials for doing their job and cracking down on illegal border crossers.

“And yet fueled by anger, the U.S. is cracking down, even building a 700-mile fence on the border at an estimated cost of $10 to $50 billion over the next 25 years,” Sawyer said on the October 8 “GMA.” “Will that work?”
But the problem doesn’t stem from the unemployed in Mexico, but those who already had jobs

They are mostly male, mostly young and scared,” Sawyer said with a sympathetic tone. “[F]our hundred a year die attempting to cross to the United States. And a surprise – most of them, in fact, were employed in Mexico, but came to the U.S. for more money – money they'll send back.”

Sawyer also failed to differentiate Hispanic labor from illegal Mexican labor in her report when she conducted interviews with business leaders that rely on Hispanic labor.

If you took away Hispanic labor from agriculture and from dairying in Wisconsin, we'd be in crisis,” said Wisconsin Secretary of Agriculture Rod Nilestuen to Sawyer. “There's just no two ways about that.”

She failed to differentiate between the two when she used the labor force in Las Vegas as an example.

Las Vegas would stop. We would stop in our tracks,” said Donald Taylor of the Las Vegas Culinary Workers Union, responding to her question. “They do everything from cleaning our room to serving a cocktail to cooking a meal to serving a meal to cleaning the casino floor.”

Even using the numbers provided by Sawyer, there is a cost benefit to the American taxpayer to secure the United States-Mexican border rather than opening it up easier immigration as the story advocated.

“It's a huge boost to the Mexican economy – $20 billion a year,” Sawyer said. “Another surprise, the majority pay taxes totaling billions. Though it's estimated it still costs American citizens about $60 a year per person to subsidize the illegal's health and schooling.”

With a U.S. Census Bureau estimate of more than 300 million , that’s a taxpayer cost of $18 billion annually versus the $2 billion annually the fence is projected to cost. Still Mexican President Felipe Calderón doubts the effectiveness of the fence.

“It's impossible to stop that by decree,” Calderón said to Sawyer on the October 8 “GMA.” “It's impossible to try to stop that with a fence. Why? Because the capital in America needs Mexican workers. And Mexican workers needs opportunity of jobs. Capital and labor are like right shoe and left shoe, and one needs the other.”

However, where there is a fence, statistics show an improvement in slowing the spread of illegal immigration.

“[Rep. Duncan] Hunter and other officials credit the existing fence, along with increased security, with discouraging illegal immigrants from trying to enter the USA,” Kevin Johnson of USA Today wrote in the September 17 issue. “As security has been increased along the southwestern border, apprehensions of illegal immigrants have declined during the past three years, from 1,171,396 in 2005 to 889,056 in 2007 with one month remaining in the government's budget year.”

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