The Corner

Re: Mow Your Own Lawn

I agree with John that the “jobs Americans won’t do” stuff is offensive to our country’s egalitarian mores, but I get lots of e-mail of the “immigrants are great/Americans are lazy” variety. And there is a kernel of truth to this — it’s not just that wages in blue-collar occupations are held back by immigrants, but that fact has caused a lot of Americans to consider such work beneath them and, in the case of the poor, prefer welfare handouts to honest, dirty work. Conservatives have long been concerned about the corrupting effects of welfare, and passed welfare reform in 1996 to address the problem. Unfortunately, the unfinished part of welfare reform is immigration restriction — so the poor are eased out of welfare after a certain period of time and the jobs available to them are better paying and held in higher regard than before. We did the first part in 1996, but not the second part, which means the job is incomplete.