Following an immigration crackdown, I overhead strawberry farmer say “In my thirty years, I’ve never left fruit on the vine until now.” He was chatting with a few other farmers and they were complaining about the difficulty of finding labor. What he means is that the cost to pick strawberries is greater than the value of strawberries. What alternative does a farmer have than to leave the fruit on the vine?
Despite this farmer’s troubles, it just so happens we’re the largest strawberry producing country in the world. In being the world’s leader, there are many high paying jobs in the strawberry industry that legal residents fill such as trucking, marketing, management, sales, warehousing, etc. Not to mention the economic benefits we receive when we export strawberries versus if we had to import strawberries. All of this is made possible thanks to the strawberry industry’s access to cheap illegal immigrant labor. And don’t for one second think the strawberry industry is the only industry which depends on illegal immigrants for its existence.
Furthermore, because illegal immigrants work for less, the products and services we consume cost less. That means we all enjoy a higher standard of living than if we didn’t have access to their labor.
Please keep in mind, I’m not advocating legalizing illegal immigrants, opening our borders or deporting illegal immigrants. I’m arguing that the status quo is a mutually beneficial relationship. Americans get access to cheap labor and all its benefits and illegal immigrants get a chance at a better life.