Business and Labor Agree on Yet Another Immigration Queue

Observing the immigration reform debate, one might get the idea that the biggest problem with our current immigration system is that there are not enough lines for people to queue up in.

The president and the Senate Gang of Eight want illegal aliens to go to “the back of the line” as they embark on their “pathway to citizenship.” Not the back of the line that people who obey our immigration laws wait in. Amnesty proponents want to create a new line here in this country for illegal aliens to go to the back of.

Business interests also want more lines. They want additional lines for guest workers of just about every conceivable skill level. The problem is that another core constituency in the amnesty camp is organized labor. Organized labor hates guest worker programs. Guest workers’ (ostensibly) temporary status presents obstacles to unionizing them.

So business and labor leaders put their heads together and came up with a solution. Yes, you guessed it, another new line!

Under an agreement in principle, business would get new, or at least bigger, lines of guest workers. Except that these “guest workers” would eventually morph into immigrants – kind of like caterpillars turning into butterflies.

Business interests would get to bring in more foreign workers. After a few years the guest workers could become permanent immigrants (who could then get in line to join a union) and get on the pathway (or perhaps a newly created pathway) to citizenship. Business interests would then get to bring in more foreign workers to replace the ones who moved on to the citizenship pathway.

Of course, with all the new lines and pathways, we’ll probably need a new line for foreign workers with special skills in “line and pathway development,” and traffic cops to direct everyone to the right line or pathway.

About Author


Ira joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 1986 with experience as a journalist, professor of journalism, special assistant to Gov. Richard Lamm (Colorado), and press secretary of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. His columns have appeared in National Review, LA Times, NY Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and more. He is an experienced TV and radio commentator.


  1. avatar
    Concerned Citizen on

    Ira Mehlman is pointing out how insane and out of control the Great Immigration Giveaway has become. Our ancestors worked hard to give us this country but it’s fun to throw a party and give it all away because it makes us feel so good!

    That’s where we are today, more or less. But for those who think “it’s inevitable that the United States, through immigration, will be radically transformed within the next 30 years, so hop on board the crazy train and deal with it,” I have a rebuttal. The map of the United States has changed equally radically over the course of the nation’s history. If you’ve studied American history, you know the map has changed. Why wouldn’t political demarcations change in North America in the future?

    South Florida is a case in point. If this region politically insists on forming a nation of immigrants, first and foremost, a thinking person might decide okay, let’s give it to them in the form of a “Special Autonomous Region” like Hong Kong. Draw a line across South Florida. They could vote in their own elections but not for the U.S. president, and in turn, they could set their own immigration policies.

    If you pick up the phone in Miami in 2075, you might get something like “Welcome to the People’s Republic of Miami. Press One for Arabic, Press Two for Mandarin, Press Three for Cantonese, Press Four for Spanish, or Press Five for French.” In this new nation of immigrants, having Spanish so far down the list would be no problem to its native-born citizens because they would all agree Miami is a nation of immigrants, therefore a Spanish First movement would be racist.

    Politically, we’re still a way off from any “facelift” response to the “changing face of America” movement, but it’s conceivable. Even more so when the idea is out there.

  2. avatar

    Samuel Gompers created the American Federation of Labor, think AFL-CIO. He specifically linked mass immigration to the desire of big business to undercut wages for American workers. His successors seem unable to understand that concept. Or maybe they’re just sellouts like the rest of our leadership, including Congress, who seem willing to give away this country if it will get them a single additional vote.

    If you look at the history of welfare reform in the mid 1990s, it also included denying benefits to illegal immigrants and set stringent standards for legal immigrants to get them. A majority of Democrats in both houses voted FOR the bill. And Harry Reid was for ending birthright citizenship until the demographics in Nevada “changed”.