"It's only sort of about economics: President Bush likes to say that immigrants do the jobs Americans won't do. That's true, of course, but it's really more accurate to say that immigrants do the jobs Americans won't do at the wages businesses want to pay. In my area, for example, American-born drywallers make 5-7 dollars more an hour than illegal immigrants. They're willing to do the work, just not for what the contractors want to pay. But I've talked to many of them and they actually admire the Mexican workers, who work hard and support their families.
Where I hear resentment of illegal immigrants, it's not so much based on the idea of them taking American jobs. At the moment, at least, unemployment is very, very low so people aren't thinking that way as much as they might if there were a recession. Instead, the resentment is based on the idea that people who come here illegally feel entitled to demand that they be treated like Americans. It's the devaluing of citizenship, as much as the loss of jobs, that seems to upset most people at the moment."
Monday, April 03, 2006