Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Gastarbeiter Redux

I addressed this issue last week and it looks like Homeland Security is finally moving in the right direction on it. Secretary Michael Chertoff said yesterday that they would be increasing border patrol, adding beds to detention centers, and working with the State Department to expedite work and student visas. All of these are steps in the right direction. Chertoff also pressed Congress to pass legislation allowing for guest workers (and I want to say that I do agree with PoP's previous comment that the number of guest workers allowed into the country should be inversely tied to unemployment levels).

Something the administration hasn't done yet, and I think they are right in not doing it yet, is punishing businesses that hire illegal workers (the question remains if Bush or Congress will ever be willing to do it). Right now, many businesses have no choice but to hire cheap illegal labor. Not until we allow the right number of legal workers can we begin to fine businesses that continue to hire illegal workers.