Ever Wonder What the Word “Illegal” Actually Means?


Ever wonder what the word “illegal” actually means? Try substituting the word “Invisible” and you will begin to understand a few of today’s labor issues. There’re lots of bosses out there that want invisible labor.

Invisible: concealed from public view.

Invisible means you can work them and pay close to nothing and not pay employment tax, provide no safe working standards, pay no work comp, save on all other things you have to give US workers. On top of these benefits invisibles bring to the work site, you don’t have to hire US workers. The instant you make “illegal” workers visible you make history.

I’m not making this stuff up. Here’s what James Hirby, Tulane University Law School, says:

“Illegal immigration doesn’t exist in a vacuum. A company that doesn’t want to pay taxes on its workers’ pay, doesn’t want to pay them the minimum wage, and thinks it can avoid U.S. labor laws will hire illegal immigrants to try to cut costs and get a leg up on its competitors. They do so because the illegal immigrants are willing to work for this low amount and, arguably, because official policies don’t do enough to curtail illegals or provide a means for illegal immigrants to become legal. It is a complicated situation that resists easy slogans for people actually trying to understand the problem.”

Law Dictionary: How Does Illegal Immigration Hurt The Economy?

At some point in the future we will have to address illegal employers but for the time being we are not.

The Executive Order?

5 Facts to Know About President Obama’s Immigration Announcement from Center for American Progress:

1. President Obama has the legal authority to act.

2. Executive action will bring economic benefits to states and the nation and give immigrants the opportunity to take care of themselves.

3. Immigrants will pay fines in order to apply to this program, which will cover administrative costs.

4.  Status is not automatic; there will be an application process.

5. This is a first step but not a permanent solution.

Mr. Obama’s executive order only deals with the deportation of certain folks. That’s it. (Cracking Down on Illegal Immigration at the Border, Deporting Felons, Not Families, Criminal Background Checks, and Taxes) He didn’t grant citizenship, add 5 million new voters, give out heath care, hand out food stamps, or any of the weird stuff we are hearing.

Cathy A. — “If you read on about the plan, he’s not giving them their citizenship, they have to pass a background check, have a child that’s a U.S. citizen and it’s only good for 3 years…at a time.”

In essence, invisible workers would become visible– employers might have to get legit. This could keep exploitation down and encourage hiring of US workers. As far as SS and medicare, if a person pays in, a person gets back. Too bad they won’t be able to buy insurance on the exchange, though.

Costs of this?

Approved applicants will get permission to stay for three years (under the order, only those who came before 2010 are eligible) As many as 4.1 million people could fit the criteria, the administration estimates. The application will cost $465. Somebody check my math. I come out with 1,860,000,000 US Dollars. This coming in every 3 years will definitely help with the cost of other aspects of the immigrant issue like border enforcement costs $18 billion a year, more than all other federal criminal law enforcement agencies combined. Costs of border enforcement will be a bit less than $18 Billion per year (down to maybe half cost of enforcement that exists now) So, 9 billion dollars — the application cost = good money management, as a result, because, of this order. This, $465 X 4 million people will go a long way.

After the application, and with qualifications met, what will be the boost to the economy? I’m thinking more taxpayers. Add those new taxpayer dollars to what these 4 million folks already pay just going to buy groceries. WOW. We’re talking about some serious cash.

All this with no extra spending which would have had to go through Congress. WOW.
This is how to make a silk purse out of a sows ear.

For those who have been paying attention to the News during this administration we might be thinking that the president is getting soft on the issue, nothing is further from reality. Obama is the deportation, President. I don’t see this changing except for that some families are now considered. I see this order strengthening his strict enforcement of border laws by focusing funds on needed measures. It has even been set up to pay for itself.

What does the word “illegal” actually mean?

It might have something to do with dehumanization which points a finger at just one part of a problem while at the same time hiding what is really going on. It might have something to do with US Companies avoiding the laws of the land and getting away with exploitation which does no good for the country wherever it exists. Then again, it may be merely an easy to say nationalistic word meaning nothing except that somebody can say it while not have to think about it’s meaning. It might mean that we, like Congress, are still unwilling to confront the problem.

Terry Gresham

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