How dysfunctional is the US immigration system? It is so dysfunctional that even Lou Dobbs, a man who has built his brand spewing hate speech at immigrants, can’t even follow it.
Last week The Nation labeled Dobbs an “American Hypocrite” for hiring unauthorized immigrant workers,
But with his relentless diatribes against “illegals” and their employers, Dobbs is casting stones from a house—make that an estate—of glass. Based on a yearlong investigation, including interviews with five immigrants who worked without papers on his properties, The Nation and the Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute have found that Dobbs has relied for years on undocumented labor for the upkeep of his multimillion-dollar estates and the horses he keeps for his 22-year-old daughter, Hillary, a champion show jumper.
Dobbs’ response? He claims he never employed undocumented workers because he didn’t sign their paychecks (or were they paid in cash?). According to Dobbs they were employed by independent contractors he hired to maintain his various multimillion dollar estates including his daughter’s five European Warmbloods, a breed of horse that often sells for $1 million apiece.
A hyper technical defense if I ever heard one. Something Dobbs would have angrily referred to as “gibberish” when he was pushing his anti-immigrant vitriol on CNN.
I must admit I enjoyed watching Dobbs squirm in his duplicity last week.
But Dobbs is not the point. The point is that the current system is completely unworkable. Congress needs to get off its collective…fill in the blank here…and fix this mess. We need a well designated temporary worker program so that Lou Dobbs and others who need to hire essential workers can do so legally and in a safe and orderly manner that protects the wages and working conditions of US workers. We also need an employment based immigration system that is focused on attracting the best and the brightest to our universities, research institutions, and industries and retaining them.
The jobless economic recovery that plagues America will be unquestionably stimulated by a well targeted system for skilled and unskilled workers; one that promotes our economy and enables employers to grow their businesses. And, as experts all across the spectrum recognize, the legalization and full participation in the US workforce of 11 million unauthorized workers will increase the wages and working conditions of all Americans by adding $1.7 trillion to the gross domestic product over the next ten years, adding $5 billion in consumer spending, and creating nearly a million jobs.
I wonder if, in a show of good faith, Dobbs will voluntarily offer to pay the government a hefty fine for hiring illegal immigrants. After all, Dobbs has made it clear that those who violate the immigration law should suffer its harsh consequences.
Anything less would be amnesty, wouldn’t it?