David Brooks writes in his New York Times column a letter to a young Republican: "You may have noticed that this week, Mitt Romney and Tom Cotton are teaming up on an effort to raise the minimum wage and enforce immigration laws, two plans to boost working class wages. That's what there needs to be more of."
The legislation is still being drafted. A Cotton tweet described the immigration enforcement provision as "requiring employers to verify the legal status of every worker so they can't undercut Americans on the black market."
Whatever happened to the concept of a Republican Party that would leave businesses and potential employees alone to engage in voluntary, mutually beneficial contractual arrangements without government price controls? Businesses already have to verify the legal status of their workers, under current law. Imposing further additional requirements on businesses to serve as a kind of national immigration police is what there needs to be less of.
This is classic Washington politics. Democrats and some big businesses that already pay higher-than-minimum wages want to raise the minimum wage. Republicans want to crack down on illegal immigration. So the political "win-win" compromise deal is to raise the minimum wage and simultaneously crack down on illegal immigration. But for free market pro-growth types who oppose a federal minimum wage and who also aren't particularly disturbed by a flow of talent and human capital into America from overseas, it's a lose-lose.