The average wealthy (or at least not poor) American has a wonderful cheap supply of slave labor, and the great thing is that these new slaves have even less rights than the ones of centuries ago (yes I know this is absurd, and insulting, but think about rights and social values in the context of history). You do need to pay these new slaves, but a salary, which is only a small fraction of the minimum wage.
You don’t need to offer them any job security, health benefits or holiday pay or care in any way about their welfare. Hire as many as you need for a pittance of pay, stop paying them and they are not your problem. If you’re wealthy and happy to not think about the ethics this is a great deal.
But then along comes some bleeding hearth ethical types and they want to give your slaves rights. What the hell!
Of course we all use different words to describe this situation. If you’re a bleeding heart you call these people immigrant workers, while if your making hay while the sun shines you call them illegals.
The bottom line is that the deck is stacked against these workers. The very people they come to work for are doing everything they can to keep them status-less, while the people who are trying to help them are almost powerless.
If people who come to America for economic reasons (and didn’t follow the legal process) were ever to get legal work status, that would require them to be paid at least a minimum wage, and get the same protections as any other humans in the workplace. That would be very expensive.
Eventually it has to happen, slave labor is not a socially acceptable practice, and people are just starting to be called out on it.
Obviously it’s wrong for people to come to any country without following the approved process, but I feel that the very people who are hiring these workers are in effect directly supporting this illegal practice.
A simple fix is always to punish those who are hiring illegal workers. When the cost of breaking the law outweighs the cost of following it, then people (however unethical) tend to either follow the law or go underground.
Making it easier for people who are needed to perform work, to get legal work status, along with making it harder to hire illegal workers, seems like a reasonable course of action.
Yes it will make the costs of farming, manufacturing and construction increase (as wages and benefits will increase), but it’s one part of the process of fixing the new slavery.