Let’s do ourselves a big Depression-era favor. Let’s deport a taxpaying jobs creator just for fun. Let’s indulge anger and indignation, even if it eliminates jobs and throws a family into despair.
Jeanette Vizguerra, 39, faces deportation after living in Colorado for 14 years. Vizguerra owns a cleaning company. She provides more sustainable jobs and prosperity than Solyndra, the defunct “green jobs” company that received a $535 million loan guarantee from President Barack Obama.
Vizguerra and her employees pay taxes. Vizguerra lives as an “illegal” because our country’s immigration laws counter the interests of our economy and our government’s revenue demands. Our immigration policies are like the old 55 mile-an-hour speed limit. Driving 55 slowed our ability to transport goods. It kept people on the road too long, reducing their production. Truck drivers earned less if they obeyed the law. The speed limit clearly countered our economic interests.
Much like we couldn’t afford to drive 55, we haven’t the luxury to turn away or deport millions of immigrants who pay taxes and work the type of menial jobs that Americans on never-ending unemployment proceeds and retire-young pensions won’t do. Few of our laid-off MBAs and CPAs are picking produce and scrubbing toilets in motels.
Vizguerra and her family came to the United States in 1997 to escape violence in Mexico. They’d have come legally and we should have welcomed them as visitors who would create jobs and pay taxes. Instead, our self-defeating immigration laws stood to keep them in Mexico for years. So they broke the law in a motivating quest for freedom and prosperity.
As a feared and loathed “illegal,” Vizguerra could not get legal without risking deportation. She could not obtain a driver’s license or insurance. We marginalized her no matter what she did, so she forged identification documents that anyone needs to function in the United States. During a traffic stop, a cop asked Vizguerra about her residency status. She said “illegal.” She was arrested for lacking insurance, a license and for driving on expired plates. Police reported her to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Today she faces deportation.
The United States was founded for immigrants who seek the freedom to produce, yet we have modern laws that oddly seek to force them underground.
When we deport Vizguerra, we may deprive four children of their mother or rip them from the only home and country they know. We stand to destroy a small employer that generates taxes. We will inflict one more tiny cut on an economy that’s bleeding to death.
Big-government gifts for pie-in-the-sky green companies aren’t the answer; immigrants are. Illegal immigrants produce more than $400 billion of our country’s $13.6 trillion gross domestic product. They cannot avoid sales and property taxes. They get little in return, as 1996 welfare reform rightly disqualifies them from Medicaid, Medicare, housing and food stamps. They contribute roughly $7 billion a year to Social Security. A government study found that high immigration could postpone the demise of Social Security by eight years.
We will cling to our outdated immigration restrictions, refusing all reasonable reforms, at our own peril. Let’s control the border, keep out the riffraff, and welcome producers and taxpaying employers such as Jeanette Vizguerra. Not to save them. To save us.