Builders are pro-illegal immigration?

That seems to be the case.

Update 12/17/2007: I just came across this story in the Washington Post:

A broad coalition of Virginia business interests, including some of the most powerful trade groups in the state, has created an organization to oppose laws that would punish employers with undocumented workers on their payrolls.

Virginia Employers for Sensible Immigration Policy was formed in anticipation of another flurry of legislation in the General Assembly seeking to crack down on undocumented residents and employers that hire them, business leaders said. Individual trade groups and companies have spoken out before about specific anti-illegal immigration proposals, but the new group is the business community’s most visible and organized effort to influence the immigration debate.

The list of those comprising the coalition is here; notably the Homebuilders of Virginia is a member of the coalition.

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6 Comments

  1. Lonnie December 7, 2007 at 12:09

    That’s something that has concerned me for a while. For the most part, illegal immigrants take low paying wages that most Americans don’t really want (like agricultural jobs); however, the contruction industry seems to be a major except to that. That’s one industry where is seems rather clear that highly payed skilled American labor is being replaced by illegal aliens.

    As with the larger issue, I don’t think we should punish the people risking their lives to find work, but we should hold employers accountable. After all, if the industry wasn’t so willing to pay illegal immigrants to be here then less of them would come. I also think we should make it easier for people to come here legally, and pay them a fair wage, but that’s a different topic altogether…

  2. Lonnie December 7, 2007 at 12:10

    Yikes, sorry about that lack of editing…

  3. Matt December 7, 2007 at 14:18

    “I don’t think we should punish the people risking their lives to find work”

    Well, it is a mutual agreement between the employer and the employee, both of whom know what they’re doing is illegal and right now, there is way too much of it going on. Full penalties for both, I say.

  4. Lonnie December 7, 2007 at 15:14

    Matt,

    I understand your perspective, but I think the truth of the matter is that there’s just so much poverty in Mexico that people are willing to risk their lives to get here and work to feed their families. Frankly, I might do the same thing in their circumstance. Anyway, from a practical standpoint, someone who is willing to risk getting shot or worse crossing the border isn’t really going to be deterred by the threat of deportation.

    Plus, we basically don’t have the resources to deport everyone even if we wanted to, and it would require draconian measures that most civilized people would probably find somewhat distasteful. That said, if we eliminate the jobs then many will probably go back home. Some already have left because it’s getting harder to find work as illegal immigrants.

    As a society we also need to deal with our often unspoken double standard, which is that we want “super low prices”; however we don’t want to pay more for our homes, produce, and other goods. Like it or not, if illegals leave then prices will go up and some kinds of jobs Americans don’t like to do will go unfilled. The other possiblity is that more companies (Manufacturing and agriculture) will relocate to other countries where labor is cheap. So far our society has been in complete denial about the situation, thats got to change before any progress can be made.

  5. Thomas Johnson December 11, 2007 at 01:24

    “I don’t think we should punish the people risking their lives to find work”

    Let me get this straight. I risk my life by pulling an armed bank heist looking to feed my family, and I should not be punished?

    I know, I know, according to Presidente Jorge Bush, they are just doing the work that Americans won’t do- like statutory rape, carjacking, kidnapping, murder and all sorts of other things Americans just won’t do.

  6. Jim Duncan December 11, 2007 at 07:53

    Thanks for the comments. My thought is this – don’t advocate for something illegal.