By Steve Croyle
TOPIC: DACA Dilemma
You depend on Illegal Immigrants
DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is a critical immigration reform initiative introduced during the Obama Administration that provides people who illegally entered the country as minors with a path toward legalization. The program affords qualifying individuals renewable deportation deferments, which are granted based on employment status, and criminal record. Studies conducted by the Pew Research institute have concluded this program has improved employment opportunities and wages for those who qualify.
Trump’s decision to go after DACA is based largely on the ignorance of his base, and the dangerous anti-immigrant rhetoric he used to to propel himself to an electoral college victory. The tragedy of his ignorance, and that of many Americans, is that the illegal immigration they are concerned over is that which comes over our Southern Border.
Every year, millions of illegal immigrants enter our country through our airports. They come from all over the world with visitation and student visas in hand. In time those visas expire, but the people never leave. They find jobs, they get married, they have kids and they stay forever. They come here pursuing a slightly better quality of life. Nobody ever talks about them, or the jobs they take. We’re only worried about those poor Hispanic immigrants who come here out of sheer desperation, taking the jobs nobody wants.
Like it or not, our economy depends on a steady influx of the very immigrants Trump is targeting. We live in a pricing bubble. Wages in the US have not grown in proportion with productivity, but we don’t notice this because so many of the goods and services we depends on have costs driven down by the presence of illegal immigrants who are willing to work for less money, and tolerate poor working conditions.
It’s not just migrant workers picking crops. Illegal immigrants are everywhere. Thousands are right here in Columbus, and savvy recruiters know how to find them. Oh, the hiring manager makes sure the I-9 documentation is passable, but they just don’t look too closely as that ID card. It’s all about plausible deniability. They don’t teach you how to spot bogus documentation in HR school, right?
So right now, as you read this there are companies in Columbus who are driving down costs by hiring illegal immigrants. They love it because these employees will never file a workers’ comp claim, or demand benefits. They won’t ask for sick time or vacation. They won’t even demand a raise. This is a big step up from plucking tomatoes off of vines down in Florida, and there are a dozen other illegal immigrants waiting for that opportunity.
They also pay taxes. Federal, State, and Local taxes are deducted, and nobody files for a refund. Why? Because when you’re an illegal immigrant you do what you can to stay off the radar. So you claim 0 dependents on that W-4, and let the government keep the change.
These are the people who bring their children with them. While they toil away in a crappy job for an employer who only cares about the bottom line, their children go to school. They speak English. They assimilate. They acquire the skills necessary to get better jobs so they can help their parents out when their parents get too old to handle the grueling work illegal immigrants are relegated to. They aren’t here because they hate America. They are here because their parents wanted to provide their children with a better life. They are here to fulfill the American Dream of doing better than the previous generation.
Trump’s decision to go after DACA is nothing more than a ploy to keep his base excited. For him, it’s all about his petty little rallies, not what is in the best interest of the country. Trump wants to vilify brown people because his base is too stupid to appreciate the reality of illegal immigration. They claim it’s not about hate. Even if it’s not about the humanity, if you really want to address the problem from a perspective of American jobs, you need to go after the employers who exploit illegal immigrants to drive down payroll costs, but then you also need to brace for increased costs in the marketplace. Our economy depends on illegal immigrants, whether we like it or not.
Trump is playing a dangerous game to score points with his fans. It’s a shame that this country exploits millions of illegal immigrants, and our goal should be providing them with a path to citizenship and the ability to improve their quality of life. Stripping these people of their dignity by callously shipping them back over the border is inhumane, and detrimental to our way of life.
As a nation of immigrants, we need to do better.
QUICK TAKE I
Topic: Hurricane Harvey
The 2017 Hurricane season is just getting warmed up. Harvey dumped countless gallons of water on Houston and that city is going to spend the next 20 years trying to recover. Once again, we’re reminded that taking nature for granted is perilous. It’s tragic irony that some of the people most severely affected by Harvey were displaced by Katrina 12 years ago. It’s also ironic that the most devastating aspect of these storms wasn’t the wind or the pounding surf, but the deluge that followed. Throw Sandy into the mix, and it’s hard to deny that we need to give serious consideration to mitigating the threat of rising sea levels.
Of course, that’s a heady task left to climate scientists, engineers, and political leaders. In the meantime, there is a terrible human cost. It doesn’t take much to help out. If you can hustle a few cans of food to somebody collecting them for a trip down to Houston, do it. It doesn’t seem like much, but it’s a meal for somebody who is living in a tent right now.
QUICK TAKE II
High school football needs to go
Topic: High school sports
It’s a sacrilege to say this in Ohio, but it’s time to put the pads and the helmets away. If high school football is going to continue to exist, the game needs to be modified in a manner that takes intentional collisions out of the equation.
Twenty-two kids hurling themselves at each other for 60 minutes on a Friday night isn’t a healthy pursuit, especially with more high school coaches adopting those spread option offenses and a fast pace of play. Moreover, the “bell-rung” culture that trickled down from the NFL isn’t disappearing from the high school ranks fast enough. Even if coaches take head injuries seriously, players are naturally inclined to deny any problems. With such a finite number of games, a high school football players doesn’t want to sit out for a game or two.
Modifying the game to incorporate some rugby concepts will naturally cut down on head injuries. Players will be less inclined to treat themselves as projectiles. It will also save a lot of money. One of the biggest expenses a high school athletic department faces is the upkeep of the pads and helmets. Save money and brains? Seems like a win/win.