Thanks to New Republic staff writer Clio Chang, we now know that those resisting the evil President Trump and his particularly evil policy of stepping up deportations of illegal immigrants have begun taking the Sanctuary City (and County and State) one courageous and virtuous step further. They’re starting to create Sanctuary Homes movement to help all the illegal immigrants who they employ as maids, nannies, and in other domestic service positions.
As explained by a leader in this emerging movement,“It’s about creating safe and welcoming homes and communities,” including “simply starting conversations with their employees about the election, giving them time off to be with their own children, finding and sharing legal resources related to immigration and deportation, and offering safe rides home from work.”
Sounds incredibly special, doesn’t it? And Chang reports that “the enormous backlash to Trump has brought many such employers to the table, some of whom may not have been politically active beforehand. The relationship that people have already established with their caretakers and nannies often acts as a good starting place for further action.”
But actually, the Sanctuary Homes movement is just one more example of the naivete (at best) and hypocritical virtue-signaling (at worst) that’s become so characteristic of so many of advocates of more lenient immigration policies.
For as Chang herself notes, the (overwhelmingly affluent) families who employ these domestics have paid them wages that are among the lowest in the nation. And data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics make clear that, during the last decade, as the Open Borders crowd has grown in both numbers and self-righteousness, these rock-bottom wages of the domestics employed by its urban and suburban liberal wing have risen much more slowly than those of the typical worker. From May, 2007 to May, 2016, they’re up only 4.90 percent – versus a 17.95 percent rise for American workers as a whole.
In fairness, as Chang details, and as suggested above, the Sanctuary Homes movement is about much more than helping illegal immigrants. It’s targeted all domestics, who clearly have gotten the short end of the fair labor regulatory stick in the United States.
But in addition to forgetting the admonition that charity begins at home, the domestics’ employers who are jumping on the amnesty bandwagon also overlook how Open Borders, legalization, path to citizenship and other such proposals are bound to strengthen the jobs magnet that keeps attracting to the United States so many workers from very poor countries. If they have reason to think that they, too, will be amnesty-ied down the road if they can make it into country illegally, their numbers will continue to challenge even the most effective border controls. As a result, the labor glut that’s helped limit domestics’ wages will swell even further.
And there’s another effect neglected by immigration advocates: Even if every employer of every domestic paid them significantly higher wages either voluntarily or because the workers somehow manage to organize effectively (tough to accomplish in labor over-supply conditions), the workers’ families would continue to live in lower income areas. For that reason, and because upper income households are much likelier to capitalize on tax reduction options than lower income households, the burden of paying for the schooling and other government services used by immigrant domestics will inevitably be paid mainly by their neighbors, not by their wealthier employers.
As I’ve written, since America’s upper classes benefit so disproportionately from mass immigration, they should be hit with a hefty special tax to support the newcomers as long as the border remains so porous. Until immigration advocates recognize this glaring inequity and the need to eliminate it, it’ll be fair — indeed, charitable — to describe developments like the Sanctuary Homes movement as (at best) economically clueless showboating, not genuine compassion.