1/19/2005

Ted Rall Gets It Right

My dislike for Ted Rall is encoded into my DNA, much like my disdain for the designated hitter and the knowledge that O.J. is guilty. Still, it's important to acknowledge when one's adversaries are on the side of the angels. In an op-ed piece called "Legal, Safe, and Common", Rall does in fact get it right:

While we encourage illegal immigration, we've made it virtually impossible for a foreigner who dreams of becoming an American to do so legally. Legal immigration is limited to people who already have relatives here, are sponsored by an employer or are seeking political asylum from a tiny list of approved countries. Had these rules been enforced since 1776, there would be more Native Americans than any other variety.

A sane immigration policy would reverse these attitudes. We should welcome legal immigrants in much larger numbers. After all, America has always become culturally richer and economically more prosperous as the result of its hard-working newcomers. Legal immigration should become safe, legal and commonplace. At the same time, no nation worthy of the name can tolerate porous borders. We can and must seal our borders to prevent economic migrants, terrorists and others with unknown motives from entering the United States.
Although Rall gives token mention to the notion that tougher immigration policy will improve homeland security, the real motivation behind his stance is clear from the article: wage increases for every American:
Most employers don't hire illegal workers. But they all benefit from the downward pressure illegal immigration puts on wages. It's simple supply and demand: if we deported every undocumented worker, companies would be forced to increase pay at the bottom from sub-minimum to minimum wage levels. This would force employers to entice those currently working for the legal minimum wage with raises, and so on up the scale.
Rall's case for tougher immigration policy is a strong one, echoed by conservative voices like Michelle Malkin and yours truly. His goal of wealth redistribution notwithstanding, Rall's right and deserves credit for being so.

Hat tip to Michelle Malkin.