Editor's note: The following comment by "Zak J." appeared on an earlier post, and it's rather thought-provoking, so we decided to pull it up here for further conversation. Discuss.
I don't see how anyone can claim to be pro-Union, pro-Worker, and pro-Illegal Immigration at the same time.
Turning a blind eye to those who hire illegal immigrants while talking tough about arresting the immigrants themselves has been the Republican strategy at least since Reagan. It is so because centering enforcement only on the immigrants creates a large, permanent underclass of people with no rights and no recourse to law or collective bargaining. Large numbers of illegals break the ability of unions to collectively bargain for better wages, benefits, and a seat at the table. And that's the Republican plan.
Sure, we need legal immigrants, and we can argue over how many, but the system we have now of letting people in and letting employers hire them without legal protections is a form of slavery. Or is there another reason so many immigrants get less than minimum wage? This is why the Republicans want to bust the workers and let the employers off the hook--oligarchs like slaves.
It is unfortunate that the racial/ethnic issues surrounding immigration distract progressives from having a discussion on how to craft policies that best benefit the majority of Americans without fear of appearing racist.