Well intentioned conservatives can disagree about how best to reform our nation’s immigration system. But all conservatives should be willing to agree that no matter what happens, immigration reform should not be used as an excuse to create brand new government bureaucracies. But if the Senate’s Gang of Ocho endorses the guest worker program principles just announced by the AFL-CIO/Chamber of Commerce, that is exactly the direction immigration reform is heading. From the statement:
The United States will always be a nation of immigrants who have contributed greatly to the vitality, diversity, and creativity of American life. Yet, like the rest of America’s immigration system, the mechanisms for evaluating our labor market needs and admitting foreign workers – as well as recruiting U.S. workers – for temporary and permanent jobs are broken or non-existent. Current immigration policies are rigid, cumbersome and inefficient. What is needed is the creation of a professional bureau in a federal executive agency to inform Congress and the public about these issues together with a system that provides for lesser-skilled visas that respond to employers’ needs while protecting the wages and working conditions of lesser-skilled workers – foreign or domestic.
If you think government “professionals” will be good at predicting the supply and demand of “lesser-skilled” labor, then this statement must sound like a sensible compromise. However, if you have any conservative instincts at all, you should be more than a little bit skeptical. And The Wall Street Journal reported earlier today:
Key senators are exploring an immigration bill that would force every U.S. worker—citizen or not—to carry a high-tech identity card that could use fingerprints or other personal markers to prove a person’s legal eligibility to work.
Mandatory national ID cards?!?! New government bureaucracies!?!? How could any conservative put their name on a bill containing those provisions?