Saturday, February 10, 2007

If we deport illegal immigrants who would pick the tomatoes?

As reported by Mark Krikorian in The Corner
According to a congressman's wife who attended a Republican women's luncheon yesterday, Karl Rove explained the rationale behind the president's amnesty/open-borders proposal this way: "I don't want my 17-year-old son to have to pick tomatoes or make beds in Las Vegas."

Mark Krikorian went on to be appalled at the disdain for the virtues of hard work reflected in this point of view. That strikes me as a strange reaction. My first thought upon reading that statement was to be appalled at the disdain for reality. What mechanism would compel educated, English-speaking sons of privilege to pick tomatoes or make beds in hotels if all the bottom-of-economic-scale workers who are currently doing those jobs suddenly disappeared?

Karl Rove must be thinking of “Gone With the Wind” where the plantation owner’s daughters went from being belles of the ball before the Civil War to picking cotton after the slave’s were freed. The only way Rove’s statement makes sense is if he sees immigrants, both legal and illegal, as second class citizens serving the same function in our society as slaves did in the pre-Civil War south. In his view we can neither deport them or give them equal rights. If we did either we would end up like Scarlett O’Hara and her sisters, out there in the fields picking the crops.

Of course, that is nonsense. Even if we give everyone in this country equal rights Karl Rove’s kids and all the other sons and daughters of privilege with their language skills, education and social connections can easily out-compete other young people in the job market and avoid having to do bottom-of-the-rung manual labor jobs like picking tomatoes or making beds (although a summer or two doing that kind of work would probably be good for them.)

How did someone who thinks like Karl Rove end up in at the highest levels of our government? What has happened to our meritocracy?

3 comments:

jmoffit said...

well if we remove all of the illega immagrants. then my son and three daughters could have those jobs.
My neices and my cousins children could work and get paid for what they do. I pulled onions in the valley when I was a kid. It was hot hard work, but it brat being broke. The thing is I survived working before I was 18 so can my kids. Lets get rid of the
ILLEGAL ALIENS ONLY(humans included) and let these
young people know the pride of self accomplishment

I Remain

Jim

Dave Barrett said...

Jim,
No need to wait until the illegal immigrants are deported to apply for those jobs. Anyone who is able and willing to do the work for the offered pay will be hired and if they are legal and speak English they will be hired in preference to people who are not legal and/or do not speak English.
Do not blame illegal immigrants for your son and daughters not doing that work. If they applied for those jobs they would be hired, I assure you.

Retired Hippie said...

Americans will do the job! Seeing all the Mfg. and Compter jobs have left our country there are enough AMERICANS to do the job! You will have to pay a living wage since you can not tell them you are going to deport them!