Saturday, August 25, 2007

The crack down on illegal immigrants is having an effect

Working men and women in this country have been sold a bill of goods again by demagogue politicians. They were told that their wages were stagnant because illegal immigrants were allowing employers to keep wages low. If we crack down on illegal immigrants then employers will be forced to raise wages, we were promised. Farmers who had been using illegal immigrants to pick their crops are among the first to have to change what they have been doing as a result of the crackdown on illegal immigrant labor. Are they raising the rates they pay enough to attract legal American labor? Not according to this story in the Christian Science Monitor.

As states increasingly crack down on hiring undocumented workers, western farmers are looking at inmates to harvest their fields. Colorado started sending female inmates to harvest onions, corn, and melons this summer. Iowa is considering a similar program. In Arizona, inmates have been working for private agriculture businesses for almost 20 years. But with legislation signed this summer that would fine employers for knowingly hiring undocumented workers, more farmers are turning to the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) for help.

"We are contacted almost daily by different companies needing labor," says Bruce Farely, manager of the business development unit of Arizona Correctional Industries (ACI). ACI is a state labor program that holds contracts with government and private companies. "Maybe it was labor that was undocumented before, and they don't want to take the risk anymore because of possible consequences, so they are looking to inmate labor as a possible alternative."

read the entire article

Doesn’t this remind you of what we have heard about China, using convict labor in order to keep costs low? It appears that instead of China becoming like us, we are becoming more like them. In farming states like Iowa and Illinois are we going to have police and the courts under pressure to convict and imprison more people in order to get the crops harvested?


matt moran said...

A lot of people seem to like press gangs. Making prisoners work to offset the costs of their punishment can seem appealing.

But whether the prisioners are laboring for "public" or "private" interests, the moral hazzard is the same. We benefit (through lower taxes or lower prices) when people are put in jail.

I doubt that there would ever be explicit pressure to convict someone to get the crops in. But there is a subtle and insideous pressure that weighs on our justice system.

Dave Barrett said...

I admire the confidence implied by your comments that you and yours will always be on the receiving end of the benefits of this system of convict labor. The "We" in your "We benefit" comment obviously does not apply to either the convicts or the unskilled laborers in competition with convict labor. I think that America as a whole faces more than just "moral" hazards in this situation.

Winghunter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Winghunter said...

It has been conservatively estimated we pay $340 Billion per year in illegal alien support while they work for low wages from farmers and other subversive employers only looking at their bottom much are we actually paying for our produce and products here when we add the supprort!?( only 26% of all aliens work farms. )

We hear idiots like Gerry-O Rivera whine, "Do Americans REALLY want to pay $30.- for a hamburger?"

We're probably paying a whole lot more than that now ya' disloyal Liberal twit!

Even the story this article refers to has some whining farmer saying the immigrants are starving...That's because you keep them in the field for 13 hours a day and pay them diddly squat.

They don't want to be here unless they're spouting nonsense about "reconquista" ( we have receiptas. ) because a majority of them refuse to assimilate and the ones that say they do are demanding we give the 20+ Million amnesty...BS!

Add to the Billions we already send them South and teach them to help themselves ( and stop their polluting which is reaching our shores making people sick just from swimming. ) while we save what we have left in services, entitlements, the criminal justice system and last but not least our sovereignty.

We now have the ability to join in voice to make our elected officials do what they should have done over 21 years ago...Lets get head first and ankle deep in this q-u-i-c-k!

Dave Barrett said...

That "conservative" estimate sounds more like a "wingnut" estimate. How on earth can illegal immigrant labor be a net drain on our economy? The vast majority of illegal immigrants have federal income tax and state income tax withheld from their pay -- the only exception being day laborers paid in cash. All illegal immigrants pay sales tax on their purchases and property tax through their rent payments.
Illegal immigrants do not qualify for most forms of welfare. They do not receive food stamps, section 8 housing assistance or most other forms of government assistance to the poor.
Mark my words -- in clamping down on illegal immigration we are killing the goose that laid the golden egg. The US economy over the last 20 years has benefited enormously and grown with the influx of labor. If we continue to reduce the flow of immigrants into this country I predict the economy will start to contract, with Americans being worse off as a result.
Your xenophobia is making you blind, if you think illegal immigrants have been a net drain on our economy.