The great strength of An Immigration Bill for 'Plantation Owners' Newsday April 10, 2007 is that Pinkerton understands the fusion between the political and social dynamic at play here â€“ and does not flinch to name it:
â€?the STRIVE Actâ€¦ represents one group's attempt to manipulate the system against another group - and also against the national interest. Do you think the working class in America has it too good? Do you want to make sure that you always have the option of replacing your current workers - the ones who do your meatpacking, or landscaping, or household toiling - with even hungrier workers? And do you not care about crime and social chaos, as long as they happen in someone else's neighborhood? Or perhaps disuniting the whole United States, after you're dead? Then STRIVE is for you.
The legally-compromised status envisaged for those in the â€?guest workerâ€? program, Pinkerton sees, invalidates comparison with the late 19th Century immigration flood:
at least those immigrants were legal citizens; they were free to negotiate their own wages as best they could, and they were free to travel out West in search of a better deal.
Yet, in an earlier era, some owners had come up with a "better" idea - they didn't want free labor; they wanted slave labor. So, in the South, plantation owners brought in Africans "to do jobs that Americans wouldn't do." It was a good plan for the slaveocrats, if you didn't mind a little blood and brutality.
And oh, by the way, slavery brought with it a civil war that nearly destroyed America in the 19th century, as well as leaving a tragically stubborn racial divide that lingers into the 21st century.
This is an important insight which Pinkerton wisely amplifies:
those who depend on non-free labor - slaves back then, illegals and "guest workers" today - are so blindly eager for short-term profit they are willing to saddle the rest of the country with long-term problems of multiculturalism and balkanization, made all the worse by welfare-state dependency. Exploitative employers brought the whirlwind to this country once, and now they want to do it again.
And he is too experienced a Washington hand not to remember that legislation often mutates away from what its progenitors expected.
STRIVE is also liked by those who figure it's a fraud. Pro-multicultural immigration advocates know that all the bill's complicated provisions can never be enforced, that its measures will be loopholed to shreds by bureaucrats and clever lawyers. And so, they hope, STRIVE will stumble into amnesty.