I guess this is stepping back into the political fray, but it is an important issue to bring up: the immanent crackdown on illegal hires at businesses in the US. Homeland Insecurity leader Chertoff announced that these rules could cause some problems in industries such as agriculture, retail, apparel, and construction but said he had no intention of punishing Congress for not reforming the immigration laws – if you believe that, I have a second bridge to sell you in Death Valley, or maybe an island off Alaska with nobody living on it.
It is coincidental that this is happening just as the housing equity market ended up in the toilet, causing central banks all over the world to have to inject hundreds of billions of dollars into reserves so as to keep the market liquid – this liquidity is needed because like oil in an engine; if you don’t have it then entire engine would seize up. Gosh I hate it when I predict these calamities and they prove more than half true.
The funny part about all this is that many of the same folks who voted against Bush’s immigration proposals have huge holdings in agriculture, construction, hotel services, and in a round-about way are employers of illegal aliens! Obviously, the need to placate voters was much stronger than their personal bottom line, for which we I suppose should be very grateful. The word “altruistic” seems a little awkward, however.
So right when Congress votes to expand farm subsidies for vegetables and fruits (most goes to cotton, corn, and soy beans) there’s nobody left to pick the stuff. Immigrants are either vanishing into the underground cash economy or are headed back home. If remittances such as wire transfer money back to Mexico are any indication, they are at an all-time low. Things don’t bode well in Mexico, which has a double-whammy of rising corn costs for tortillas (thanks to our subsidies and ethanol policies), more people sneaking BACK into Mexico, with resulting gang warfare – I mean, what jobs really are left down there? Even modern, “safe” Monterrey is sprayed by gangland bullets every day.
In a perfect storm, of course, proposals to erect a wall along the Rio Grand could have the effect of keeping illegal immigrants inside the US. I don’t get it. Housing is tanking, agriculture is taking a tremendous hit, and once again we have that sinking feeling that we got it all wrong.