"So, what would a economic conservative view of immigration really be? Would labor move as freely as capital across international borders? Would there be less regulation on who could migrate as long as it lowered the price of labor?"If it was that simple (free market labor), we would have found a solution long time ago. The issue is not the free movement of labor. The issue is the lives, dreams, and hopes of millions of human beings trying to make a better life for themselves.
To be clear, hope, dreams, and aspirations in no way justifies breaking the law. This in no way excuses illegal immigration, nor should it remove someone from the potential consequences of illegal immigration. But, the debate needs to be shaped in terms of human lives, no movement of labor. We are talking about People people!
Otherwise, the debate gets shaped in a way that would favor the businesses that have perhaps most benefited from being able to pay below standard wages to illegal immigrants. I'm against minimum wage caps, and subsidizing labor, but I'm also against the unjust reduction of fair wages in the course of normal free market enterprise as a result of illegal activities.
That's not capitalism, its not conservatism, and its not right.
What am I saying? I'm saying I don't agree with those who would argue in favor of a all-out amnesty for illegal immigrants on the basis of economic need. That may well be part of the reasons, but it's not just about economics.
If I heard our politicians calling America to be merciful, and to show compassion,...well, at least there is an honest argument to be had there (though I don't believe in "compassionate government"...there is no such thing). The debate on immigration cannot and should not be dictated strictly by the business lobby or on economic needs. We have to consider the social and human impact--the consequences of illegal immigration, not just on our country but on the immigrants themselves, as well as to our communities.
Here is what I think: illegal immigration hurts illegal immigrants. Illegal immigration hurts immigrants. Illegal immigration hurts marriages, children, and communities. Its that simple folks.