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CHEAP LABOR?

April 19, 2009 - Michael Palmer
As are most of us, I am a descendant of immigrants. Our relatives came to this country seeking a new life, freedom and opportunity. Now the open borders of this country are once again in the news as U.S. citizens are losing their jobs in near record numbers. But is this really about immigration, or is this a dispute over business trying to get around labor laws to cut production costs?

Business owners claim that they can’t afford to (or don't want to) pay a decent wage for labor jobs that they claim the American workers do not want. Especially in the agricultural community, we hear that immigrant workers are necessary to provide produce at affordable prices for hungry consumers.

The West's large agri-corporations, are the main guilty parties for enabling illegal immigration. While the farm owners cut production costs and consumers pay lower prices for their produce, I believe the term "cheap labor" is a farce.

If you are an American tax payer there is no such thing as "cheap labor." The illegal alien who resides in this country with a wife and children costs us plenty in free social services and medical benefits. Now our president wants to allow them a free pass to citizenship.

While the labor is cheap for the manufacturer, the discount you receive at the cash register will become a very expensive drain on our taxes. On the high end of estimates, the taxpayer is soaked for the equivalent of $20.00 to $30.00 /hour in benefits. Let’s do the math. If this man takes a job for minimum wage and has say five children, at those wages, with six dependents, even if he is not paid under the table, he would owe no income tax, even if he files with the IRS.

If that worker files he would receive an "earned income credit" of up to $3,200 free. He qualifies for Section 8 housing and subsidized rent. He qualifies for food stamps. He qualifies for free (no deductible, no co-pay) health care. His children get free breakfasts and lunches at school. He requires bilingual teachers and books. He qualifies for relief from high energy bills. Think about it, as taxpayers we already provide funding to replace signs in English with bilingual language signs, bulletins and printed material. The solution to the problem will not be a simple one. The racist plans on the wholesale deporting of illegal aliens in a replication of Dwight Eisenhower's 1954 plan called “Operation Wetback” is one option.

Eisenhower approved this operation that had one thousand federal agents rounding up thousands of illegal immigrants in California and Arizona and deporting them deep into Mexico beginning in 1954. Two dangerously overcrowded ships, the Emancipation and the Mercurio, were used to take them hundreds of miles down the Mexican coast. The radical plan seemed to work, within months, up to a million illegals had moved back across the border, most of them reportedly on their own for fear of being rounded up.

President Harry Truman took a different approach and appointed a commission on illegal immigration that found a solution that would police the employers of illegals. The commission recommended better wages for migrant laborers and strict regulations of working conditions. Federal agents, instead of the classic approach of raiding workplaces to check on the legality of workers would require employers' to verify documentation of fair pay and safe working conditions. This would negate the advantage of hiring illegal immigrants for employers and eliminate jobs that are attracting illegals. The commission’s recommendations never became law due to extensive protest by the large agricultural lobby.

Is the Truman plan the answer? It sounds worth a try, but one thing is certain, the Democrat’s current plans to further bankrupt our nation by offering illegals a free pass and continuing dispersing free benefits that should be first made available to our own citizens is not acceptable as we teeter on the brink of the worst depression in our nation‘s history.

 
 

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