We were having a discussion on this topic when I was visiting my family last winter. Texas is even more solidly “law and order” (i.e. Republican) than Enumclaw. I suggested a likewise quick solution with the twist that any employer of an illegal should get a minimum jail sentence, much like we routinely do for DUI (and ignorance of their illegal status is no defense, just like many other offenses.)
This comment generated a tsunami of hard silence; everyone, including my mother, hires illegals for house or yard work. But how hard do you have to smite a hypocrite before they see the light? A few days in jail just might do the trick. My family considers anybody who spent time in jail a “jailbird” and a few days behind a locked door could be the breakthrough that they need.
On a more practical note: a west of the great divide dairyman described the troubles with labor for his huge herd of milking cows (around a 1,000).
“Why not invest in those new milking robots? I hear they work great,” I suggested.
“We can’t afford those, those machines are for the Europeans that don’t have access to cheap (i.e. illegal) labor.”
So, our backward labor strategy, like our backward heath care system, has put us at a competitive disadvantage to the rest of the “First” world.
Wally, you have done a fine job of pushing people to look again in the mirror on this and other issues. I sincerely hope enough people see the light before we become part of the “Second” world.