In my latest reading of War on the Middle Class: How the Government, Big Business, and Special Interest Groups Are Waging War on the American Dream and How to Fight Back, Lou Dobbs talks about illegal immigration. Dobbs argues that illegal immigrants drive down wages, and that big business largely supports their presence in the United States because they are cheap labor.
What should be done about illegal immigration? I don’t like the idea of simply building a big wall to keep out illegal immigrants from Mexico, for many of them are escaping dire poverty and are looking for opportunity. So should we resort to amnesty? That’s not particularly fair to those who wait in line to become American citizens—-and there are a number of people who play by the rules who themselves come from bad circumstances. Should we have open borders? What would happen if terrorists entered the U.S.? Should we have a guest worker program? That can drive down wages, if I understand the program correctly, for businesses could pay their foreign workers low wages and refrain from offering them benefits. Maybe the solution is NAFTA, which can lift up Mexicans out of poverty through capitalism. But, as Lou Dobbs argues, poverty is still a problem in Mexico, even after NAFTA.
Dobbs states that Mexico is poor even though it has lots of resources. Is there a way for Mexico to use its resources to become richer? Can we encourage Mexico to do that?