Sunday, November 06, 2005

At least no one's overreacting

Alabama has about 35,000 illegal immigrants, according to an estimate in today's Birmingham News. One might think many of those immigrants' willingness to work more cheaply than American citizens deprives native-born or naturalized residents of jobs, but the numbers say one would be wrong: Alabama's unemployment rate is at its lowest point in decades even with the recent waves of Hispanic immigrants looking for a better life.

With that out of the way, let's examine some other possible reasons why illegal immigration must be shamelessly exploited for fear-based votes by opportunistic politicians stopped in its tracks:

They drive uninsured. Fortunately, no one has been in a traffic accident with an uninsured American citizen since 1993.

They form gangs. And native-born youths never would have done the same without those outside agitators. (Seriously, police must stop gang violence regardless of who's perpetrating it, but gang members constitute a small minority of any given race or nationality, so it's unfair to paint everyone with a broad brush.)

They take jobs from hard-working Americans. Few Americans are applying for the entry-level jobs that illegal immigrants take in the construction and poultry industries, but that's beside the point.

They lower property values with "front lawns worn bare or filled with parked cars, scattered toys, and furniture; Christmas lights left hanging from eaves; and other signs of neglect." Nope, never known of any white people whose houses look like that.

As a nightcap, here's an actual quotation from noted populist U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala.: "The business community is shameless."

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