Americans won't do the jobs everyone keeps saying they shouldn't have to do

In response to Democrat Congressional Candidate Says Hispanics Are Needed To Clean Hotel Rooms And Cut Grass:

Ace has some interesting thoughts about the clown-car efforts to get Sink off the hook for these remarks, which essentially boil down to the insistence that she also praised Hispanic valedictorians who go to law school elsewhere in her speech, and anyway Democrats by definition cannot be racists, so it’s all jake.  I suppose everyone of Hispanic extraction who takes offense at what she said can expect a stern “how dare you” lecture for your failure to appreciate Party ideology.  Maybe Harry Reid will call you a dirty liar for quoting her accurately.

Besides the double standard demanded by people who have absolutely no problem with clipping together the precise fourteen syllables they need to make any given Republican look like an ogre, this story is really just another expression of the old “doing the jobs Americans won’t do” defense of large-scale immigration, both the legal and illegal varieties.  That always strikes me as a bizarre argument, particularly in times of sky-high perpetual unemployment, such as King Barack has brought us.  I suppose in eras of full employment, it becomes more difficult to find a large number of jobs American’s “won’t do,” so the argument is most easily advanced in eras when it would seem to make the least sense.

The “jobs Americans won’t do” line is a frank expression of immigration as a policy to be controlled by national interest; as Alex Sink put it, we need maids and groundskeepers.  The funny thing is that most of the people who say things like this will otherwise become very angry at the notion of guiding immigration policy according to America’s national interest.  That’s supposed to be racist or nativist thinking; the whole reason we got saddled with our current crisis, besides the burning Democrat desire to import a more agreeable electorate, was Ted Kennedy fulminating against the evils of an immigration policy that cherry-picked high-skilled, much-needed immigrant workers.  

It’s an uneasy intellectual fit, because apologists for illegal immigration expressly state that America has no right to control its borders, no right to decide who should be offered citizenship; the idea of designating any aspiring immigrant as unacceptable or unwanted is supposedly monstrous.  But open-borders ideologues drop their open-borders ideology like a hot potato when it’s time to pretend they’re wise statesmen and stateswomen who just want to provide America with forms of labor it desperately needs, but cannot generate internally.

And we’re never going to generate that labor internally if we keep telling ourselves, and telling our young people, that such work is permanently beneath them.  It was an under-appreciated watershed moment when Democrats started trying to defend ObamaCare job kills by portraying them as marvelous freedom from “job lock,” because it was the first time their rigid ideology formally admitted that job shortages have both a supply and demand component – in other words, it’s not just a question of fat-cat employers offering jobs instead of using the money to line their treasure vaults, it’s also a matter of how aggressively workers pursue those jobs.  People don’t pursue jobs that our politicians, and their obedient media, portray as utterly beneath them.  Mass immigration, particularly the illegal kind, becomes a safety valve for bleeding away the economic pressure that might otherwise lead native-born people to consider at least a brief stint in hotel service, which might go some way toward restoring our shriveled workforce.

Why should landscaping, hotel maid service, or any other job be viewed as demeaning?  Why should anyone feel good about saying such “demeaning” work is fit only for immigrant labor, or more specifically illegal immigrant labor?  Hard work should earn respect, no matter who performs it.  Immigration deserves the greatest respect, when performed legally.  Our political class keeps bending itself into logical pretzels to conceal what it really thinks, paper over its occasional outbursts of brutal honesty, and pretend it doesn’t have some very simple and low-minded motives for what it wants.