GOP demonization of illegals distorts real immigration picture

THE ILLEGAL immigrants who dragged mowers and hedge clippers onto the lawn of Mitt Romney’s Belmont estate, working long days under an exploitative boss before moving down the street to do the same thing at his son Tagg Romney’s home, are at least closer to the real issue than other illegal-immigrant fantasies presented during last week’s Republican presidential debate.

Often working as gardeners and maids for sub-minimum wages, the vast majority of illegal immigrants do jobs most Americans don’t want. But there are some unemployed people who might benefit from such jobs, if employers were to provide anything close to a living wage. Illegal immigration is a problem that must not be a permanent fixture of the economy. Rich people like Romney should acknowledge some culpability for hiring cheap contractors without asking any questions. They, and everyone else, should do what they can to expose the problem and push Congress toward a comprehensive solution.

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