he economic spectrum who find themselves competing against illegals willing to work for below the minimum wage and under illegal working conditions (such as OSHA laws). (I have no data to back up this, but I suspect not too many illegals are competing with upper middle class "immigration advoicates" for available management consulting, computer hardware design, or local media writing jobs.)

The illegal immigration problem, especially in California, is the product of a de facto alliance between businessmen willing to cut labor costs by violating the law, starry-eyed liberals who are a sucker for any sad story told by persons of color, and dreamworld libertarians who---like the Marxists before them---think everything will be just ducky when the state finally ceases to exist.

Amazing how such profound goofiness can cross the political spoectrum!!

Posted by: Harry at August 10, 2003 12:39 PM

Harry -- Here's a hint: The key word in your comment is "seem."

As the husband of a legal immigrant, and someone who spent three years of hell dealing with the INS, I can distinguish quite specifically between "legal" and "illegal," not unlike how I can distinguish between someone who can comprehend the specific, carefully chosen words of a column, and someone whose political obsessions invent emphases that aren't there.

As I have explained to too many hair-trigger anti-illegal-immigration activists, there is a very specific reason I use the phrase "anti-illegal immigration," and not "anti-immigration." So, just like the accusation of racism, you are defending yourself from charges that did not come from me.

As I've also explained over and over again, I use "undocumented workers" in exactly two contexts: 1) When referring directly to clutches of "workers" hanging out in front of places like Home Depots and U-Haul locations, and 2) as the fifth-ranked synonym for "illegal immigrants." In fact, I may *never* have used it in the latter context, but I reserve the right to in the future. If by this usage choice you are able to divine my precise public policy position about immigration (legal and illegal), then congratulations! You must know me better than I do.

Posted by: Matt Welch at August 10, 2003 01:21 PM
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