Tragedy of Immigration Enforcement
Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.: The
Political Doctrine of Statism
problem. If you give government a job to do, even one that seems
justified in the abstract, it will use its power to make a terrible
mess in practice. This is true in a host of areas from welfare to
warfare, but it is even true in the complicated area of immigration.
this. The owners of Chuy's Mesquite Broiler in Phoenix and 13 other
locations around western states have been kidnapped from their popular
restaurants and dragged to jail. This will be followed by trial,
and certain personal bankruptcy. They could face 80 years in prison.
In the raid, "Homeland Security" stole their computers,
their accounting and employment records, and walked out the door just like a gang of thieves. The only difference is that these
thugs operate under the cover of the law.
And what evil
did these restaurateurs do? Were they poisoning people, stealing
customersí wallets, secretly running an assassination conspiracy,
sending in the predator drones against people they hate, or what?
To lock anyone away for life is a shocking sentence, so surely the
punishment must fit the crime. Pyscho sniper-murderers have gotten
What they are
alleged to have done is hired people who donít have the proper bureaucratic
forms filled out for them. Thatís all. Nothing more. It is being
done in the name of immigration enforcement and cracking down on
illegals. The workers themselves are untouched by any of this. Their
benefactors and the benefactors of society are the
ones being targeted with police-state tactics.
is busting up a whole series of voluntary labor relationships that
are designed to provide people with good food. Let us be clear:
to the extent that many people object to illegal immigration, it
has nothing to do with those who go to work and make an honest living
doing things like working in restaurants. The problem with illegal
immigration is related to other issues that drive people crazy,
like going on welfare, engaging in actual (not pretend) crime, and
demanding tax-funded support services.
jobs to do and other wonderful commercial things is a praiseworthy
aspect of immigration, legal or illegal. In fact, there are millions
of jobs in this country that would simply not be done at the current
price without such immigration, and this is true in a vast range
of industries from housing to horticulture. American natives think
too highly of themselves to accept these jobs at the market price.
And it is this
very thing that government, given the power to enforce immigration
statutes, wants to crack down on, not by rounding up workers, which
would be bad enough, but by criminally prosecuting the business
owners themselves, the people who are not only providing jobs but
also providing good food for the public. The whole thing boggles
But the utilitarian
will object. Yes, these tactics are rough, with results that are
regrettable for property owners and those who like to dine out,
but at least it helps address our nationís problems with illegal
But will it?
If mainstream employers are afraid of lifetime jail terms, they
will not hire. And that leaves only marginal employers to pick up
the slack. These include drug operations, fly-by-night underground
businesses, gray markets, prostitution rings, and other things from
the seedier side of life.
Or the result
could be no employment at all, which means turning to crime itself.
In other words, these efforts attempt to stop the best part of immigration
and enhance the worst. For this we can thank the government.
Try to think
of this issue in terms of the risk to attempting illegal immigration.
No one on the other side of the border, faced with a porous fence,
is thinking: Iíll take this risk only on the condition that I can
go to work for Chuyís Mesquite Broiler.
No, they will
come anyway. In order to eliminate every possible job opportunity
for immigrants, the Obama administration will have to jail and terrorize
vast numbers, destroying the commercial life of major swaths of
the country. This is a catastrophic plan that amounts to a fundamental
attack on liberty, and the nationalization of the service industry.
(I should add that I prefer illegal immigration to legal, since
we have far too many citizens able to vote themselves other peopleís
property, and too few people who want to work hard for a living.)
as George Bush used national security as the great excuse to shred
the Bill of Rights, the Obama administration is using illegal immigration
as the excuse to achieve the socialist dream of bringing employer-employee
relations entirely under government purview. It is a form of micro-nationalization.
And why? Socialist
ideology plays a role here, and another authoritarian anti-market
ideology, protectionism. But if you look closely enough at this
enforcement, you will find the hand of Obama affiliated big labor
unions at work behind the scenes. Itís not that they are against
immigrants. The unions hate any employee who works for the going
market wage. As their power and influence continues to fall, if
not in DC, they are resorting to ever more desperate tactics to
shore up their slipping cartel.
You can see,
then, that this crack down has nothing to do with nationalism or
racialism or securing the borders or anything else. It is all about
bolstering the power of the state and its unions over the American
economy, and making the rest of us poorer.
H. Rockwell, Jr. [send him
mail], former editorial assistant to Ludwig von Mises and congressional
chief of staff to Ron Paul, is founder and chairman of the Mises
Institute, executor for the estate of Murray N. Rothbard, and
editor of LewRockwell.com.
© 2011 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in
part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.
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