Line of the Day (GA Immigration Law Edition)

“[W]e have turned good workers into criminals and turned criminals into bad workers, losing on both ends of the deal.”—Alex Tabarrok.

FILED UNDER: Borders and Immigration, US Politics,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Jay Tea says:

    “Turned” them into criminals? Weren’t they already breaking the law? It’s my understanding that the Georgia law doesn’t change existing laws, just adds enforcement to it.

    And “criminals into bad workers” might not be much of an improvement, but it’s something…

    As I noted first, the existing laws already said that the workers were breaking the law. If you don’t like that, feel free to work on changing the law. Don’t whine when someone actually decides to enforce the laws on the books, work on changing those books.


  2. sam says:

    “Don’t whine when someone actually decides to enforce the laws on the books, work on changing those [laws].”

    All the real whining is coming from Georgia farmers facing financial catastrophe.

  3. Jay Tea says:

    On second thought, the Georgia law IS a bad thing. We need those illegals out in the field, making less than minimum wage, unprotected by labor laws, afraid to go to authorities when they’re exploited. Obama needs his cheap arugula, dammit! Plus, how can we “eat our peas” if we don’t have those people out there doin’ those pea-pickin’ jobs?


  4. Herb says:

    @Jay Tea: That’s kind of the point. Our immigration laws have made it so that it’s illegal to use these skilled workers. Hence “good workers into criminals.”

    You mentioned changing the books…Do you support a reform effort that would make it easier to hire a non-citizen worker?

  5. sam says:

    @Jay Tea:

    Obama needs his cheap arugula, dammit! Plus, how can we “eat our peas” if we don’t have those people out there doin’ those pea-pickin’ jobs?

    Get serious, for Christ’s sake — we all demand our cheap arugula, peas, tomatoes, strawberries, etc., etc., etc. Why don’t you start a Norquistian Pledge along the lines of, “I ____________ do solemnly swear to abstain from eating any vegetable or fruit harvested by illegal immigrant labor.” That’ll show ’em.

  6. Jay Tea says:

    @Herb: Yeah, Herb, I do — as long as it’s part of a comprehensive immigration reform package. (Did I get the Democratic talking point right?) And that includes increased border security and stricter penalties for violating the laws.

    If it comes down to “let’s make it easier on immigrants now, and we’ll deal with enforcement later,” though, forget it.


  7. mantis says:

    Notice how Jay makes Georgia agriculture and immigration law enforcement all about Obama? What a pathetic hack.

  8. Herb says:

    @Jay Tea: But wouldn’t a comprehensive immigration reform package might actually end up loosening certain penalties? As for the ones who are already here, border security is a moot issue.

    If it were easier for Mexican and Latin American citizens to legally work in the US, they wouldn’t need to make illegal border crossings. At that point, the only people really concerned about border security would be Homeland Security and the DEA. (I take that back…ICE would still have an interest, but probably more tilted to the Customs end.)

  9. MarkedMan says:

    Normally when I see a “line of the day post” it’s good for a chuckle. But that line, now that was a gem. Anyone know from whence this Alex Tabborock comes from?

  10. An Interested Party says:

    It would be interesting to know if all the people like Jay Tea, who are screaming about illegal immigrants, do everything they can to avoid purchasing anything produced by the labor of those immigrants…

  11. Jay Tea says:

    mantis: it’s “all about Obama” because I used a couple of his stupid vegetable analogies? Please. This has been an issue of mine since before I heard of Obama.

    Interested: no, I don’t. That’s why I pay taxes — to have the federal government enforce the laws. It’s another reason I’m irritated about it.

    So, anyone actually feel like discussing the matter at hand, or am I just too darned fascinating that I suck up all the oxygen in this thread?


  12. Jay Tea says:

    @Herb: Yeah, it might, and that might be part of the package. I can see some kind of penalties short of deportation for those already here, but the simple fact is that they “cut to the head of the line” — and those who didn’t jump the border, who are working their way through the system to get here legally deserve some kind of consideration. To treat them worse than the line-cutters would be unconscionable.


  13. Herb says:

    @Jay Tea: If I remember correctly, when Bush tried to unsuccessfully reform the immigration system, “go to the back of the line” was the remedy for the line-cutters, right?

    I don’t see any scenario where illegals get preference over the folks who followed the law, so don’t worry about that one, bud.

  14. Jay Tea says:

    @Herb: I’ll believe it when I see it. Like the “DREAM Act” that we were told had some very tough restrictions, but the actual language took back those restrictions. For example, we were told that it only applied to illegal aliens who graduated from an American school, but the actual bill said “or equivalent institution” — which could (and would) be stretched to include schools in their native countries.

    After the promises behind the 1964 and 1985 amnesty acts were shown to be hollow, I think my skepticism is more than justified. Go and read Ted Kennedy’s speeches from 1964 to see some really, really outrageous lies.