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Hornberger's Blog is a daily libertarian blog written by Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of FFF.
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More Comedy and Perversity in the War on Immigrants


The federal government’s war on immigrants would be comical if it weren’t so tragic. At the same time that the feds are cracking down on illegal immigration nationwide, they’re “quietly rewriting federal regulations to eliminate barriers” to immigration. Why? Because according to an article in the Los Angeles Times, there is a nationwide farm worker shortage that is “threatening to leave unharvested fruits and vegetables in fields.”

In other words, the war on immigrants has resulted in American farm owners not having enough workers to pick their crops, which means that the unpicked fruits and vegetables are going to be left rotting in the fields, which means that the federal regulations have to jerry-rigged to let more foreign workers into the country to pick the crops while the nationwide federal crackdown on immigrants is taking place.

But, hey, where are all those Americans whose jobs have been stolen by the illegal aliens? How come they’re not rushing to take those jobs picking the crops? How about all those American welfare recipients in the unemployment offices? Can’t the bureaucrats get word to them? Or how about the Minutemen or other anti-immigrant types? How come they’re not willing to help out?

There’s a much better way to handle the problem than to engage in two-faced, forked-tongue immigration hypocrisy. It’s called the free market. Let the market—supply and demand—determine the quantity of workers needed in particular labor markets. If farmers need help picking their crops, that message will manifest itself with higher labor pay rates. Workers, out of self-interest, will get the message and rush toward that area of the market. That’s the beauty of the free market—it allocates labor resources without the hassle of government regulations and bureaucracies. Of course, though that requires a free flow of labor across international borders, just as we have a free flow of labor across domestic borders, because the foreigners are the ones who are willing to do this back-breaking work.

As the world has learned, government central planning will never work and will instead continue to produce distortions, dislocations, and perverse results, such as the rotting of American crops. The free market produces harmonies which benefit everyone—producer, worker, and consumer.

A political side note: Count me in among those who favor Al Gore’s entering the presidential race in the Democratic Party, not because his statist philosophy is any different, in principle, than those of the other Democratic candidates but because I don’t think he would be afraid to take Bush and Cheney on with respect to the Iraq occupation. Hillary, Obama, Edwards and the rest of the field are so scared of being accused of being “soft on terrorism” that they are now sounding like Bush/Cheney Lite. In fact, some of them are now even suggesting that U.S. troops will still be in Iraq at the end of their administration. I’ve got a hunch that unlike them, Gore wouldn’t be afraid to confront Bush directly on the lies and deceptions that have resulted in the Iraq quagmire and that fear of Bush and Cheney wouldn’t prevent Gore from calling for an immediate withdrawal of all troops from Iraq. That would be a positive addition to the Democratic presidential debate on Iraq.

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.