Today, with Webster’s New World Dictionary in hand and with this week’s Bloomberg Businessweek in mind, Grumpy Editor focuses on the word: illegal.
An adjective, it means “prohibited by law; against the law; unlawful; illicit; also, not authorized or sanctioned, as by rules.”
And when used as a noun, it refers to “an alien who has entered the U.S. illegally.”
Which brings us to the front-of-book “Set Them Free” piece in the July 11 issue written by Charles Kenny, a Bloomberg Businessweek contributor.
In the two-page spread under the sub-head, “Laws against illegal immigration make little economic or moral sense. So why punish the brave citizens who break them?,” Kenny writes, “If forced to do without illegal labor, vast sectors of the U.S. economy, from agriculture to construction, would founder...”
A photo accompanying the text shows five Mexican women looking at a beach barrier along the Tijuana border.
(As copies of the magazine rolled off presses, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 14.1 million unemployed persons with the unemployment rate at 9.2 percent in June.
(Since March, the number of unemployed persons increased by 545,000 as the unemployment rate rose by 0.4 percent, BLS added.)
Noting about 11 million people living illegally in the U.S., Kenny mentions a 2010 paper written by three economists “looked across U.S. industries and found that the net effect of immigration has been to create more jobs for native workers --- including low-skilled workers.”