I applaud Gary Endelman's efforts to think out of the box on the legalization question but I do think the devil will truly be in the detail. The most obvious problem: how do we avoid becoming swamped with additional workers seeking to" earn" legalization. Recall, in a earlier article Gary argued persuasively for the repeal of IRCA's employer sanctions. With no inhibitions whatsoever on the employment of out of status workers why wouldn't the same dynamic the created the existing underground economy create a new one?. I don't think I'm being a racist or a troglodyte to suggest that there is essentially an unlimited number of third-world world workers (many in the Americas)who will to work at well below the prevailing wage. Without some control on the system, we are relegating unskilled workers to permanent wage stagnation or even depression and relieving employers of any incentive to develop more effecient labor saving technologies. This is not just an unskilled worker issue. Look at the nursing "shortage." I have read credible arguments that the nursing shortage is largely a result of low wages and poor working conditions. Do we continue to denude the third world of all its most skilled health care workers in order to keep our hospital bills down? However appealing it may seem, a world-wide free market in labor is neither desirable or realistic. That said, at least Gary is asking important questions which is more than can be said for most people in Washington.
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