Officials catch 761 illegals ...

in Los Angeles... screams the Drudge headline. How does the joke go? Imagine how many they could have caught if they had searched a second apartment?

There is a farcical aspect to such stories, and even to the purported punchline. Despite the inconvenience to their employers and the sometimes calamitous effect on those caught, these raids are mainly PR stunts. There are probably well over a million illegal aliens in Los Angeles alone, so while the raids can spread fear and distress, they don't really do anything to affect the overall situation.

Any serious attempt to stop illegal immigration needs to start with stiff sanctions for employers, and that is impractical without some kind of hard to forge social security card.

My guess is that we are unlikely to see much realistic immigration reform anytime soon. Too many people have too much of a stake in cheap illegal immigrant labor, and the present system, with illegals kept illegal, scared, and cheap, suits them just fine. The other problem is that even the best intentioned solutions are likely to fail. Any sudden cutoff in the supply will destroy thousands of businesses, and guest worker programs, much tried in Europe, breed many evils of their own.


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