In, “is this real life” news, Politico posted an article titled “What if You Could Get Your Own Immigrant” yesterday, (February 13). Now retitled “Sponsor An Immigrant Yourself,” the article proposes that United States citizens should help the nation sort the immigration debate by applying to sponsor migrants, letting them stay in their basements and hiring them to work in home-based businesses for $5 an hour.

No, really.

Colorlines screenshot of Politico article, taken February 13, 2018 Article titled “What if You Could Get Your Own Immigrant” The original title of the Politico article posted on February 13, 2018.

From the article:

Here’s how the program would work: Imagine a woman named Mary Turner, who lives in Wheeling, West Virginia. She was recently laid off from a chicken-processing plant and makes ends meet by walking and taking care of her neighbors’ pets. Mary could expand her little business by hiring some workers, but no one in the area would accept a wage she can afford. Mary goes online—to a new kind of international gig economy website, a Fiverr for immigrants—and applies to sponsor a migrant. She enters information about what she needs: someone with rudimentary English skills, no criminal record and an affection for animals. She offers a room in her basement, meals and $5 an hour. (Sponsors under this program would be exempt from paying minimum wage.) The website offers Mary some matches—people living in foreign countries who would like to spend some time in the United States and earn some money. After some back and forth, Mary interviews a woman named Sofia who lives in Paraguay.

The article drew considerable backlash online, as many accused the publication and writers Eric Posner and Glen Weyl of essentially advocating for slavery or indentured servitude as a way for immigrants with undocumented status to legally work in the United States. Per the Migration Policy Institute, in 2016, 54 percent of immigrants living in the United States identified as people of color.

 

Two-thousand and eighteen, folks.