The Kansas Amnesty Plan

By James R. Edwards, Jr. on February 5, 2012

Following Utah's misguided lead, a group of illegal-alien-dependent Kansas business types has hatched the latest whacko state-level amnesty plan, the Associated Press reports.

Kansas dairies, feedlots, construction, landscaping, and roofing companies supposedly can't find enough workers. They also want to keep their current illegal foreign workers around, depress pay levels, and get a pass for legally questionable conduct.

Thus, the crackpot idea of a state-level amnesty. The state would certify a "labor shortage" in certain business sectors. Illegal aliens would ask the federal government for permission to stay on in the U.S. and work here. These amnesty beneficiaries would be illegals in the country for five years or more (really long-term, hard-core breakers of the law) and with up to one misdemeanor on top of any driving citations (and ignoring any and all federal immigration crimes, like entry without inspection or employment without permission, not to mention ID fraud, etc.).

The cynicism of this proposal gets more delicious. The foreign illegal worker would have "to agree to work toward English proficiency." To gain access to this labor pool, a Kansas business would pay a fee up to $5,000 and $200 per worker. These monies would fund "community groups" to provide "English lessons, immunizations and other services."

This tracks with initiatives that agriculture and chamber of commerce cabals are increasingly pushing state by state. As reported:

Utah created its guest-worker program last year, and Georgia officials were directed to study the idea. There were two unsuccessful proposals in Texas last year, and lawmakers in New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas have proposed programs for their states. But other states with large immigrant populations, including California and Florida, don't have such programs.

In other words, the Kansas plan creates a slush fund to underwrite racist-leftist organizations such as MALDEF and La Raza. This parallels the observation attributed to Lenin that "the capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them." Only in this instance, a group of money-hungry business types are selling out their fellow American workers by importing, by hook or by crook, foreign serfs to undercut a free market in labor. And the beneficiaries are un-American private interests, foreign lawbreakers, and radical ethnic-politics muckrakers.

Who gets hung with this Kansas rope? Native-born Americans who might be willing to fill those jobs, were the labor market allowed to work, adjusting itself with more attractive wages, benefits, and working conditions. Americans are famously willing to move where there's opportunity. Minority workers: black and Hispanic naïve-born and legal immigrants suffer among the highest unemployment and underemployment rates. Young Americans, native-born and legal immigrant alike: teen and 20-something would-be workers get squeezed out of job opportunity because certain businesspeople prefer compliant, cheap foreign labor – even when this involves breaking our nation's immigration, labor, ID, and other laws. And what does this callousness on these businesspeople's part do to the fundamental principle that safeguards us all, the rule of law?

Amnesty is rarely a tolerable idea. It's certainly unacceptable as a state-level "guestworker" amnesty plan because it encroaches on Congress's plenary power to set immigration (regulate the numbers, determine who qualifies for visas on what basis, setting per-country quotas, etc.). This hare-brained idea, in Kansas and elsewhere, amounts to aiding and abetting federal immigration lawbreaking.