Democratic Immigrant Protection Bills Don’t Solve Poverty Problem

Legislative Democrats heralded a package of bills they purport to aid and protect undocumented immigrants. Acknowledging the humanitarian concern behind the package, the plan will do little to help immigrants achieve the American Dream if something isn’t done to provide middle class jobs. Without them, many immigrants here and those attracted by California ‘s largesse are subject to a life of poverty.

Immigration reform is a Federal issue but California’s Democratic legislative leadership chooses to take the issue on to the extent that they can with this package of bills. There are many concerns associated with the bills worthy of serious questions and doubt, not the least of which is the immediate cost. Leading the cost concern is Senator Ricardo Lara’s SB 4 that would add 1.5 million undocumented immigrants to the already stressed Medi-Cal roles.

Putting the cost question aside for the moment, as well as the implication that the laws likely would serve as a magnet to draw even more undocumented immigrants to California, an important question is if these proposals become law will the immigrants the laws are designed to assist continue to be prisoners of California’s poverty prison?

California leads the nation in the number of people trapped in poverty. Many are immigrants in the country illegally. Without creation of good paying jobs many likely will remain victims of poverty.

The push for minimum wage increases is not the real answer to the poverty problem. Modifying regulations and cutting taxes to promote small business is one solution. Offering incentives to encourage the capital investment needed to create manufacturing jobs that pay middle class wages is another.

Taking the major step to encourage middle class jobs is the best thing the state can do for all California’s residents.

Joel Fox is Editor of Fox & Hounds and President of the Small Business Action Committee

Originally published by Fox and Hounds Daily