(* Below is a short clip at YouTube from Saturday Night Live where Mitch McConnell warns President Obama about his planned executive action on immigration. But when Obama asks whether the GOP has a plan, McConnell insists that the Republicans will pass immigration reform.)
Can the GOP pass a better and more suitable immigration bill? They're talking about building bigger and better high-tech fences (but only along the southern border). How will this be paid for? By cutting food stamps for the poor?
The bright light in Obama's amnesty program might be if we better used e-verify to bring more workers out of the shadows in the labor market — because employers won't be able to use the threat of deportation to depress wages and engage in wage theft by using "independent contractors".
And if "undocumented workers" became "documented", maybe real unemployment numbers could be better analyzed (after bringing all these workers out of the "shadow economy").
These workers might also tend to be Democratic and pro-union as well, and might help organize for better wages — thereby putting upward pressure on everyone's wages overall.
This is only referencing CURRENT non-visa workers, as the guestworker visa programs should be eliminated until the labor market improves (as employers abuse these programs to undercut domestic wages with their false claims of "lacking skills"). H-1B visa workers taking domestic tech jobs should be abolished completely.
As far as farm workers (or other jobs that "Americans don't want to do"), this might also raise their wages as well, and might drive up the cost of food or other services (like the guys that do your landscaping, or the women that clean your homes or watch your kids).
If immigration is down and deportations are up, this amnesty program might work to some degree if we better secure our borders (and ports) and better enforce current immigration laws by punishing employers that illegally use these workers for jobs (e.g. construction, etc.) that can't be offshored to low-wage countries.
The current labor market is over-saturated for many reasons, such as: 1) employers making current workers do more 2) computers, automation and robotics 3) offshoring. A flood of "new labor" might not materialize if they are already working under the table. But yes, NEW guestworker visas should be stopped dead in its tracks until we have REAL full employment and workers are paid better wages.
Also (as an aside) if these workers were permitted to get a driver's license, maybe more of them could purchase auto insurance, and maybe bring down insurance rates. And if they were "legally" employed with valid Social Security numbers, more taxes might also be collected.
This does not even touch on the "humanitarian" or "moral" aspects of splitting families apart — the "Dreamers", those who came here as children, who might only speak English, have already fully integrated in the country as ordinary Americans (many times, as role citizens), have gone to college, and have served in our military. So how does this country tell them all to “go home” when they believe they are already home?
Diane Guerrero (pictured below) is the Colombian-American actress best known for the role of Maritza Ramos on the Netflix web series Orange is the New Black. She grew up in Boston and remained there after the rest of her family was deported to Colombia when she was only 14 years old. Guerrero went on CNN tonight to recall her parents' deportation (Story and Video)
(* Let's just hope the Republicans don't shut down our government in their effort to thwart Obama's amnesty plan.)