This is good stuff from Dan Henniger at the Journal:

Indeed the proprietor of this column was released from the burn ward just days ago after arguing last week in this space that some 12 million illegal workers employed by seven or eight U.S. industries across numerous states was an important market signal and that it was not in the interests of conservatives to dismiss market forces as irrelevant.

Conservatives for market forces? Very strange. It seems that the grassroots consists of Conservatives Against the Market and Christians Against Forgiveness.

He continues:

There are at least 12.5 million illegal Hispanic-origin workers in the U.S. now. If the opponents want at least 6 million of them out of the U.S., they should write up legislation that will achieve that goal, tell the American people that this is indeed the explicit purpose and then let voters convey their desires to the Members of Congress.

If expulsion is not the goal but if "unearned" citizenship remains intolerable (and politically, that may well be so), then the one feasible option is for the political system to create a temporary guest-worker program that rises and falls with the tides of the U.S. economy.

There can’t be too many people in this debate more upset with the status quo than those who emailed me about last week’s column. What galled these readers, often small businesspeople, was the feeling of rank unfairness; they incur costs for liability and workers comp, which they believe the hirers of illegals evade. However angry, most of these Journal readers want to move forward, not back, as summarized here: "By the way, this doesn’t make me anti-immigrant or a racist, either. If labor shortages are that big of an issue then lobby to adjust our legal immigration and work visa policies." Agreed.

Of course, that’s why it is in the bill.

Oh, and Henniger points out Mitt Romney’s shameful flip-flop.

The truth is that if Gov. Romney’s public stance on "temporary Z visas" for illegal workers has migrated from support to opposition, it has little to do with civility and a lot to do with the blowtorch of opposition from Republicans to anything — from A to Z — having to do with illegal workers from Mexico or Latin America.

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6 Comments

Rachel · June 7, 2007 at 12:22 PM

Before market forces and any forgiveness, is the rule of law.

That people, who have been ordered by a court of law to be deported, will have that forgiven is so insane.

I’m christian, but I’m not that forgiving.

eye · June 7, 2007 at 12:28 PM

Laws that are out of proportion to reality are insane.

The problem is that people want to come here. We have done everything in our power to make that attractive.

Now, in addition, I think we should. You can think that we shouldn’t have more people.

But when the government doesn’t respect the law, that is a clear signal to people that they don’t have to either. And there is a reason that the government doesn’t respect the law. That’s why we are trying to change it to bring law in touch with reality.

karasoth · June 7, 2007 at 2:21 PM

(#1) Registration Firewalls make baby Jesus cry

(#2) Conversely. A supply of illicit labor entering the market and pushing down wages also COUNTERS a market force of innovation/efficency/higher wages/higher cost to generate the proper economic outcome

so while these immigrants can be viewed as a positive free market force it is also contrary to at least 4 other market forces and keeps them from working

neil · June 7, 2007 at 3:00 PM

the blowtorch of opposition from Republicans to anything — from A to Z — having to do with illegal workers from Mexico or Latin America.

What about V?

Rachel · June 7, 2007 at 6:30 PM

You seem to argue that it is our fault all these people came here illegaly.
It is, only to the extent that we haven’t built a strong enough fence to keep them out.
Requiring people to leave after their visa expires is not a law that is insane.
Forgiving them of the crime is.

jbonham76 · June 7, 2007 at 11:33 PM

Could someone explain where Romney’s supported the Z visa? That’s news to me.

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