WAYNE: 'Illegal' jobs creators sent away for no reason (poll added)

September 23, 2011

Let’s do ourselves a big Depression-era favor. Let’s deport a taxpaying jobs creator just for fun. Let’s indulge anger and indignation, even if it eliminates jobs and throws a family into despair.

The Gazette carried a story this month about Jeanette Vizguerra, 39, who faces deportation after living in Colorado for 14 years. Vizguerra owns a cleaning company. She provides more sustainable jobs and prosperity than Solyndra, the defunct “green jobs” company that received a $535 million loan guarantee from President Barack Obama — a man who has deported people like Vizguerra in droves.

Vizguerra and her employees pay taxes. Vizguerra lives as an “illegal” because our country’s immigration laws counter the interests of our economy and our government’s revenue demands. Our immigration policies are like the old 55 mile-an-hour speed limit. Driving 55 slowed our ability to transport goods. It kept people on the road too long, reducing their production. Truck drivers earned less if they obeyed the law. The speed limit clearly countered our economic interests. As such, Americans flagrantly violated it. Our culture celebrated the mass disobedience in movies and songs — such as “Smokey and the Bandit” (movie) and “Convoy” (movie and song) — that gave our federal law the collective finger. Millions bought CB radios for the sole purpose of sharing cop sightings.

Much like we couldn’t afford to drive 55, we haven’t the luxury to turn away or deport millions of immigrants who pay taxes and work the type of menial jobs that Americans on never-ending unemployment proceeds and retire-young pensions won’t do. Few of our laid-off MBAs and CPAs are picking produce and scrubbing toilets in motels.

(Should government deport businesswoman Jeanette Vizguerra, an illegal immigrant? Vote in poll to the right. Must vote to see results. Thanks!)

Vizguerra and her family came to the United States in 1997 to escape violence in Mexico. They’d have come legally and we should have welcomed them as visitors who would create jobs and pay taxes. Instead, our self-defeating immigration laws stood to keep them in Mexico for years. So they broke the law in a motivating quest for freedom and prosperity.

As a feared and loathed “illegal,”  Vizguerra could not get legal without risking deportation. She could not obtain a driver’s license or insurance. We marginalized her no matter what she did, so she forged identification documents that anyone needs to function in the United States. During a traffic stop, a cop asked Vizguerra about her residency status. She said “illegal.” She was arrested for lacking insurance, a license and for driving on expired plates. Police reported her to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Today she faces deportation.

The United States was founded for immigrants who seek the freedom to produce, yet we have modern laws that oddly seek to force them underground.

When we deport Vizguerra, we may deprive four children of their mother or rip them from the only home and country they know. Three are American citizens known to angry zealots as “anchor babies.” We stand to destroy a small employer that generates taxes. We will inflict one more tiny cut on an economy that’s bleeding to death.

We can’t afford this. Social Security is doomed as too many draw from it and too few contribute. That isolated dilemma symbolizes the future of our economy. When a culture ages, it has too many dependants and too few producers. As a result, homes don’t sell. Production of goods and services dwindles. The aging dynamic creates an imbalance in which consumption outpaces production. We face a future of shortages, high prices and impoverished retirees.

Big-government gifts for pie-in-the-sky green companies aren’t the answer; immigrants are. Illegal immigrants alone produce more than $400 billion of our country’s $13.6 trillion gross domestic product. They give Social Security a fighting chance. That’s because “illegals” must obtain taxpayer identification numbers, or fake identification documents, in order to work. Either way, taxes are withheld from their pay. The Social Security Administration reports that 75 percent of illegal workers pay into Social Security and Medicare. They cannot avoid sales and property taxes. They get little in return, as 1996 welfare reform rightly disqualifies them from means-tested assistance, including Medicaid, Medicare, housing and food stamps. They contribute roughly $7 billion a year to Social Security. A government study found that high immigration could postpone the demise of Social Security by eight years.

We will cling to our outdated immigration restrictions, refusing all reasonable reforms, at our own peril. Let’s control the border, keep out the riffraff, and welcome producers and taxpaying employers such as Jeanette Vizguerra. Not to save them. To save us.

Friend editorial page editor Wayne Laugesen on Facebook, follow him on Twitter

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