Saturday, July 10, 2010

Obama Surprises on Immigration

The rhetoric going around is that President Obama is lax on immigration and very pro amnesty. That's what I always thought anyway. It seems, though, that I may have misjudged him.

The New York Times just ran an article about what the Obama Administration is doing with regards to immigration enforcement. I must say that I'm impressed. It's not the high profile raids on companies with illegals, it's low profile auditing. It doesn't sound very exciting but an auditor comes in, examines employee records and, if illegals are found, the company is fined and there is the possibility of legal action. The effect? The companies that get caught are firing all of their illegal employees and starting to verify new employees. Also, other companies are seeing the writing on the wall and starting to verify more strictly as well. The effect is that the US may very well be slowly becoming a dead end for illegal workers.

Here's how I see it working: As more and more companies get audited it will get harder and harder to find job and, hopefully, word gets out that if you sneak across the border, you're not going to find a job. At this point, the immigration issue starts self-regulating. Why come if you're not going to be able to work?

So, as much as the conservatives may be loathe to admit it, it looks like President Obama is enforcing immigration using a methodology that is not only more cost effective (using one agent for audits instead of many for raids) but more effective overall (businesses are not going to risk multiple fines - it's cheaper to find legal workers).

It doesn't solve all the issues and I believe that immigration reform is necessary, but it certainly is a step in the right direction. While I don't like most of President Obama's policies, I have to give him kudos for this one.