Perception: The Federal Government is addressing the problem of immigration which is costing US citizens and residents their jobs.
Economic Reality: A 3.5% unemployment rate is the equivalent of full-employment. Raids in Iowa have more to do with presidential politics than immigration.
Below is an excerpt from the WSJ Editorial – May 24, 2008:
“Federal immigration officials raided an Iowa meatpacking plant this month in what is being called the largest operation of its kind in U.S. history. Nearly 400 of the plant’s 900 employees were arrested on immigration charges. Do you feel safer?
Ever since immigration reform died in Congress last year, the Bush Administration has made a show of stepping up enforcement. But do homeland security officials really have nothing better to do than raid businesses that hire willing workers – especially in states like Iowa, where the jobless rate is 3.5%? These immigrants are obviously responding to a labor shortage for certain jobs. Giving them a legal way to enter the country would free up homeland security money and manpower to focus on real threats.”
See rest of the WSJ editorial [subscription required]