Politicians Need Illegal Immigrants
Why, you ask, do politicians need illegal immigrants? Simple: economics. Illegal immigrants don't show up in labor statistics or the official work force. Thus:
- when the economy is good, illegal immigrants provide a labor boost, increasing productivity without increasing official payrolls. Illegal immigrants also don't get health insurance or any other benefits, making them the cheapest labor for companies. Politicians can claim credit for economic improvements on their watch.
- when the economy is bad, illegal immigrants can be terminated from the work force quickly and invisibly. They cannot claim unemployment and they do not show up in unemployment reports; as a result, politicians can claim that an economic downturn is not as severe because jobless claims didn't increase very much.
- illegal immigrants cannot vote. A politician can continue to disenfranchise illegal immigrants with no political consequences because there's no voting repercussions.
Given that the current status of illegal immigrants provides multiple positive incentives for politicians and few negative ones, is it any wonder that progress on a pathway to citizenship has not been made?