The bulk of unauthorized immigration is for work. The immigration laws allow for lots of family to come in, either family of permanent residents or of citizens. There are allowances for diversity and asylum and refugees. There are slots for employer preference, but only on some categories.
Unauthorized immigrant employment:
- 1/3 Service
- 1/6 Construction
- 1/6 Production
- 1/8 Sales, Support
- 1/8 Professional, Management
- 1/12 Transportation
- 1/24 Farming, fishing
The fact of their employment shows the need for these workers. Employers don’t hire people unless they need them. Thus, the immigration law needs to be changed to recognize these workers.
One of the principles of immigration and border security is that an orderly system is preferable to one that criminalizes labor. We are more secure when we recognize the economic fact of workers and don’t lie to ourselves about how they broke the law to:
- Cook food
- Build a house
- Make a table
Those are the sorts of service, construction, and production jobs that about two-thirds of unauthorized immigrants do.
Are unauthorized workers more attractive to employers because they are unauthorized? In some cases. But to be clear, these employers must break the law and undertake other steps to employ these workers, so there is a logical middle-ground to making them authorized workers.
The question of amnesty comes up. But the law failing to contemplate workers it knew would exist is unpunished negligence. The law that was broken was a broken law. But from an economic standpoint, the immutable laws of demand held firm and overcame the obvious fault of the law.
So, sure. Give amnesty. But fix the law. Recognize that the table, the house, and the meal were all made of valuable labor. That the law should have recognized that labor all along.