Unfortunately, the president's proposals — which include stepped-up border enforcement, increased deportations, and a crackdown on employers who hire illegal aliens – will only exacerbate the real problem underlying our immigration debates: The economy's demand for labor exceeds the current supply of legal migrants. An enforcement regime that reduces the number of undocumented workers in the U.S. without also expanding the number of guest workers will almost certainly lead to falling production and rising prices in agriculture, construction, landscaping, and other industries that depend on such workers.
According to recent studies, illegal aliens account for over half of all hired workers in U.S. agriculture, 15 percent of construction workers, and 9 percent of jobs in both manufacturing and services. In many cases, the undocumented workers fill jobs that U.S. citizens simply will not take, particularly in the current low-unemployment environment.
If an agreement on DACA materializes, Washington leaders should seize the rare moment of bipartisanship to combine border enforcement with a new guest worker program that allows each state to sponsor migrants needed by local industries.Read more at The Washington Examiner