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Using wages to fight illegal immigration

Michael Dukakis and Daniel J. B. Mitchell wrote an op-ed piece in yesterday’s New York Times advocating a raise in the minimum wage. Their argument is that a wage in the $8 realm will entice more Americans to work in the lower-end jobs. They also assert that it will force workplaces with sub-standard conditions to clean up their act.

They get one part right: unemployment will increase as a result. But I don’t get the whole argument about employers cleaning up their act. If they are currently employing illegals at sub-minimum wage levels and providing an unsafe workplace, will raising the minimum wage not further incent them to hire illegals? Why would a shady employer pay an American $8 an hour and spend a million dollars providing benefits and improving safety when he’s already got a crew of Mexicans that will accept $4 an hour?

I agree that building a big wall isn’t the best answer and I applaud these two for putting forth more ideas into our awareness set. The answer to our growing problem is out there and we need to all put our thinking caps on to find it.
Read more -> Raise Wages, Not Walls – New York Times

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