Lou Dobbs Pricks Business on Illegal Aliens

Lou Dobbs is like those stiff blowfish hanging from the ceilings of bars in Mexico. All puffed up and prickly — but he’s there, impossible to ignore. Dobbs is full of himself, and, like many journalists, he has thin skin and doesn’t think his brilliance should be questioned. But I love to hear him hammer home points he says the rest of the major media aren’t making. This former business reporter is happily skewering business on its hypocrisy over illegal workers.

He huffs and puffs about illegal immigrants and our pourous borders (he prefers the old term, “illegal aliens,” which he says even The New York Times used to use before the politically correct “undocumented immigrants” came into liberal vogue). He says the issue isn’t really about immigrants but about border security. And he makes you think.

Most provocatively, he calls the bill before Congress now the “amnesty for business” bill, and says business has benefited most from the whole mess, blithely hiring illegal workers while suppressing wages and pocketing tidy profits. And this boy delivers both verbal barrels. Rowdy journalism.

Here he is fulminating at the National Press Club Tuesday:
“We’re at a wonderful place in our history. Not only are you going to be paying for corporate America’s illegal labor program, in which they have over the course of the past 20 years brought in 12 to 20 million illegal aliens, my God, they’ve also managed to keep wages stagnant for the last 30.”

He says we need to look at the economic impact of illegal immigration, how the working class is taking it in the shorts while business takes home the profits — $100 billion in depressed wages from illegal immigrants, and $2.6 trillion in future retirement costs for those brought into this country in the next 30 years — costs that are being shifted to future taxpayers. In the main industries where illegals work — Construction, hospitality, leisure and landscaping industries (and meatpacking) — all have seen wages drop, quite nicely for the people who run the businesses. The people of the Business Roundtable and the Chamber of Commerce “want more illegal labor, more unskilled labor, and they don’t want to pay for it,” Dobbs says.

And here he is talking about how business scares people with the bogeyman of inflation — god forbid wages should go up, he says. “Ladies and gentlemen, the next time you hear somebody from that rapturous group of wonderful people, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce or the Business Roundtable, talk to you about inflation, just say ‘Go to hell.'”

Dobbs uses too many numbers to be an effective populist or demagogue, but he can rile up a crowd by calling it like he sees it. I get tired of his pomposity and don’t always agree with him, but I cheer when I hear him take aim at some sacred cows. You go, Lou.
— Benidt

2 thoughts on “Lou Dobbs Pricks Business on Illegal Aliens

  1. Bill Dewey says:

    I have always an “immigrant” to be someone who comes to a country not of his or her birth to live with the expectation of staying permanently. Those who enter a country without observing the requirements of its immigration laws cannot reasonably expect to stay forever; I don’t think it’s accurate to call them “immigrants” at all, even “illegal immigrants.” “Undocumented aliens” might be more nearly correct technically but to me it reeks of an overly politically-correct euphemism.

    I don’t understand why every proposal for “immigration reform” assumes that the only terminus of the process can be full citizenship. It may be that most of those who come here would like to seek that status, and I welcome all who are willing to do what is necessary to qualify. But many nations in Europe and elsewhere have large numbers of alien “guest workers (another euphemism which I find distasteful),” most of whom are not on a path to citizenship, and while there are often enough problems with pockets of cultural conflict at least the “host” country maintains its soverignty in relation to its alien population.

    I would find it difficult to accept any kind of second-class citizenship, but why not a second-class alienship? A son-in-law is a British citizen; he has a Green Card, and has lived and worked here for almost sixteen years now, paid his taxes, bought a home, and done all the things that other citizens have done but vote and run for Federal office. He’s paid into Social Security and he’ll be entitled to collect from it when he reaches retirement age. He could serve in the military if he were of the age; he would be as eligible as his (native citizen) neighbors for any other public entitlement.

    But the guys who re-roofed my house last year were of obvious African descent, speaking Spanish and working at a rather dangerous task for 12 hours at a stretch in the hot sun. I suspect that they were “illegals.” I don’t mind; they did a good job of it, and I hope they were fairly well paid. I doubt that they’d have been covered by Worker’s Compensation if they’d fallen off the roof and been injured, and I doubt they got overtime after 8 hours. But they came here to work and earn of their own volition, and they were smiling most of the time.

    Why don’t we issue, say, Yellow Cards for aliens who want to come here to work? They’d be, I suggest, subject to a lower minimum wage and less stringent OSHA regulations; they’d not be eligible for the same public entitlements as citizens or Green Carders; and their children born here would NOT automatically be citizens. I wouldn’t bother to collect Social Security or even income taxes from them; it wouldn’t be worth the trouble. Perhaps a payroll tax on their employers could support basic medical care for that class of aliens.

    There should be no barrier to prevent someone from moving from Yellow Card status the Green Card and eventually naturalization, if they so desired and wanted to meet the same requirements as anyone else immigrating. But neither should there be a barrier to returning to their homeland if they wish, as they often do, usually bringing money earned here to the benefit of their native land’s economy — foreign aid at no cost to American taxpayers!

    Before our constitution was even written, it was observed that a nation which cannot control what goods or persons enter its territory has no claim to soverignty. As for the how-many million people here who have not had the benefit of INS approval, it seems pointless to make them return to their homeland and re-enter with documentation. But soverignty can be maintained if they are “registered,” given legal American identities. Those who are here and who have not otherwise given cause to be deported could be given “amnesty,” if one insists on using that term. Is it shameful to grant “amnesty” to those who have come, worked hard at jobs nobody else would do and done it for little reward, and done nothing to give offense? How about calling it a “Welcome” instead.

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