Saturday, September 8, 2007

When Pigs Fly: President Tom Tancredo

Speaking of wingnuts (see previous post), Republican presidential candidate Tom Tancredo is in Tulsa today raising money for his campaign.

Tancredo, a Colorado congressman, is a pointedly one-issue candidate, but his issue pushes buttons on the right. He's the anti-illegal immigration candidate.

Speaking last night in Luther, Okla., Tancredo admitted that he's a long-shot candidate. But he claims to be the only one who'll deport the illegals, thus saving America.

If only the problem were that simple. As Tancredo knows full well, many mainstream conservatives (including George W. Bush and millions of business owners, manufacturers and growers) depend on cheap labor and seasonal (read: illegal) workers to get the jobs done at their factories and farms.

If we follow Tancredo's ideas, we can look forward to regular police raids on workplaces all over the country, a shortage of manual laborers, roofers, meat packers, and agricultural workers, not to mention scores of detention camps dotting the landscape, families split between legal and illegal members, the diversion of police and military forces from the war effort, and much more.

Do we have an illegal immigration problem? Yes. Is Tom Tancredo the answer to this problem? Only if pigs start to fly.

1 comment:

Dan Paden said...

Speaking last night in Luther, Okla....

How bizarre. I drive past Luther on a regular basis. It is a flyspeck. I wonder if both citizens attended.

...many mainstream conservatives...depend on cheap labor and seasonal (read: illegal) workers to get the jobs done at their factories and farms.

Agreed. This is a huge problem, though I have an awfully hard time calling such people real conservatives. I think a real conservative has more respect for the integrity of his country's borders.

If we follow Tancredo's ideas, we can look forward to...a shortage of manual laborers, roofers, meat packers, and agricultural workers...

I strongly question this. I do think that the aforementioned cheap labor is going to be in short supply, but I don't necessarily think that means those jobs are going to go begging. I think what you will see is increasing wages, and more investment in labor-saving machinery.

One of the things that has consistently irked me about President Bush has been his perpetual invocation of the "jobs Americans won't do" mantra. There are no such jobs. There are jobs that Americans won't do for low pay and no benefits, though, and the presence of large numbers of illegals whom unscrupulous employers can freely underpay and overwork means that such jobs exist in far greater numbers than they otherwise would.