In defense of illegal immigrant labor

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.

Comments

George N Romey Added Feb 12, 2018 - 2:41pm
Yes and those laborers then need lots of social services as they tend TO HAVE MANY CHILDREN? So do you want to pay for their needs while the Wal Marts of the world get cheap produce?
Phil Greenough Added Feb 12, 2018 - 3:02pm
Yes and those laborers then need lots of social services as they tend TO HAVE MANY CHILDREN?
 
The biggest users of social services are the elderly. Illegal immigrants don’t even qualify for the same social services afforded to you and I. Not to mention the fact many illegals work under false social security numbers meaning they pay for benefits they aren’t entitled to receive.
 
So do you want to pay for their needs while the Wal Marts of the world get cheap produce?
 
No. The math works as follows: illegal immigrant provides for himself by picking strawberries.  Walmart sells us cheap strawberries.  The strawberry industry provides good ancillary strawberry jobs for many American Citizens. It’s a win, win, win arrangement. 
Dave Volek Added Feb 12, 2018 - 3:17pm
This a great article that really summarizes why there are so many illegal immigrants in the USA.  The American economy will change greatly if the immigrants are sent back. I even heard that much of the rebuilding in Houston and Florida is being done by illegal immigrants because they are quite mobile to move from place to place.
 
Phil, you are suggesting that it's really hard for immigrants to get welfare. I believe this is closer to truth. Maybe the school boards and hospitals are a little loose in admitting illegal immigrants. But generally, it is a life of great uncertainty as well as not being allowed full participation.
 
Bill H. Added Feb 12, 2018 - 3:34pm
Being that many companies are not willing to pay decent wages for certain types of work, they use whatever loopholes are available to them to import workers or use undocumented aliens.
This will not go away soon, and the pressure to not crack down on the border comes from both parties for different reasons.
Don't believe for one minute that the Republican party is united in support of closing down the border. Many of the corporations that support the Republican party want nothing to do with shutting down their source of cheap labor.
John Minehan Added Feb 12, 2018 - 3:47pm
But you also have the H2A Visa program which lets farmers use seasonal foreign workers at relatively low wages and farm workers to arbitrage the money they get in USD against the currency in their home country.
 
It seems there are realistic alternatives to illegal labor in agriculture, at least in certain types of agriculture (e.g., apple farming).  
Tamara Wilhite Added Feb 12, 2018 - 4:01pm
Farms are already diligently automating, making the "who will harvest our food?" argument for illegal immigration moot.

7 robots that are replacing farm workers around the world
http://www.businessinsider.com/robots-that-are-replacing-farm-workers-2016-8

World's first hands-free farmland in Britain hailed a success
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-09/30/c_136649541.htm
Phil Greenough Added Feb 12, 2018 - 4:08pm
Dave;
Picking strawberries and rebuilding Houston and Florida are but a drop in the bucket compared to the illegal immigrant landscapers and nannies out there. 
 
Bill;
I disagree with every word you just wrote.  Let’s make one thing perfectly clear, no medium to large corporation is going to hire undocumented workers.  These workers are working under the table for individuals like you and I.  If they do work for a corporation, it’s one with no assets that one could take if they were found to be hiring illegal immigrants.
 
Tamara;
Yes, like all industries, the agricultural industry is automating more and more.  What’s your point in the context of this discussion?
Donna Added Feb 12, 2018 - 4:12pm
I here this as well. I see the whole picture maybe a little differently. I find no issue with those who are here illegally. Most are hard working, and are seeking the same as most of us, whose great, grandparents came here, yes legally. But not all have that choice.
I was told by a man who has been here for 10 years, he pays all of the taxes we do, i saw the pay stub. However, he qualifies for no programs within this Country, as he is not legal, so no income tax return, no ( if he makes it ) Social Security. 
They pay cash for all medical, and use the clinic, as it is cheaper than an ER. He works for 3 different farmers, one with goats, one with apples, and one with Milk cows.
i pose this question to those who say, he is taking jobs away from Americans, if we had someone to fill the position, they would not have looked over seas,( the Visa as John pointed out)  nor to an illegal( as George so quickly stated). However, Men in this Country think they are above working for a measly wage that a farmer pays. So, how did the jobs get out sourced to begin with?? 
So to me, an illegal actually contributes more than some who are born and raised here, live off of the programs, and never work, unless made to. See the illegal, he pays into all of our programs, but can take nothing back! So it is a win for us. IMO
 
Phil Greenough Added Feb 12, 2018 - 4:18pm
Donna;
All this talk about benefit versus cost is irrelevant.  I guess that also means my article is irrelevant.  The reason it’s irrelevant is because illegal immigrants are not going to self-deport.  We should all simply accept that and then find a way for them to legally provide for themselves. 
Dave Volek Added Feb 12, 2018 - 4:32pm
Phil
Most of the companies accepting the immigrant labor are doing so through an intermediary. If the illegal hiring is found out, the intermediary has already folded, with the first company claiming "We didn't know."
 
Right now, there are quite a few immigrants coming from the USA and into Canada. They are scared of their status in the USA, and are coming for a softer touch (or so they think). We Canadians have had a good history of sign them up or send them home. Not many 20-year stays.
Donna Added Feb 12, 2018 - 4:38pm
Phil,
No disagreement form me. I wasn't trying to disparage your article, just adding what i have been told.
John Minehan Added Feb 12, 2018 - 4:39pm
"I was told by a man who has been here for 10 years, he pays all of the taxes we do, I saw the pay stub."
 
That isn't how that is supposed to work.  Seems as if there may be a larger issue there . . . .
Donna Added Feb 12, 2018 - 4:42pm
Dave,
My nephew is actually looking at Canada to make a permanent move. He took a year off after high school, has decided he wants to start his own business, has gone about getting a degree, in all he would require, then intends to find out how to move to Canada, he says life will be much better for him, and at some point his family, than it ever will be here, any advice for him?
No criminal background,will be fresh out of college next spring.
John Minehan Added Feb 12, 2018 - 4:45pm
"The reason it’s irrelevant is because illegal immigrants are not going to self-deport." 
 
There has been a fair amount of that since 2008.
 
 
Dave Volek Added Feb 12, 2018 - 4:49pm
Donna
 
Go to the Canadian embassy or nearest consulate to get the exact facts. The fact that he has an education should help earn a few points for him to get accepted. It might take a few years, so get a job and some experience. Try to get on with a corporation with Canadian ties. Corporate transfers are common. And many such Americans make Canada their permanent home.
 
Canada is no Shang-ra-lai. At least we are not talking about any future civil war.
 
John Minehan Added Feb 12, 2018 - 4:50pm
Canada and the US have a somewhat porous border, although that has tightened since 9/11/2001.
 
I still remember a Captain who got stuck in the Military Intelligence School at FT Huachuca for a couple of years in the late 1980s  because his wife discovered during his investigation that she was actually a Canadian citizen, as she was born in Canada right near the US border and her family had come here in the 1960s without doing anything to regularize themselves. 
Phil Greenough Added Feb 12, 2018 - 5:01pm
Dave;
I don’t know enough about Canadian immigration to agree or disagree with the assertion that your history with immigration is good.  One thing I know is that you don’t share 2,000 mile border with a third world country.  Not to mention the many impoverished and desperate Central Americans that go through Mexico to get to the United States.  I agree completely with what you said about intermediary companies.  By way of example, it’s not like landowners/farmers are hiring strawberry pickers directly.  They hire a firm that picks the strawberries for them. 
 
Donna;
I think the point you raised is the most important one of all. 
John Minehan Added Feb 12, 2018 - 5:03pm
"One thing I know is that you don’t share 2,000 mile border with a third world country."
 
Canadians today might (reasonably) disagree.
Dave Volek Added Feb 12, 2018 - 5:11pm
Phil
If Canada opened up its borders, the world would flood in. We have an annual limit of about 200,000 -300,000. And we select the best combination of talent and humanitarian reasons.
 
The fact that we do frequently send people back and we will hold the first company accountable for hiring a shady intermediary means there is not as much opportunity for illegal immigration as there is in the US. They can come--and they do--but life is not very good without some legal status.
opher goodwin Added Feb 12, 2018 - 6:03pm
The use of cheap immigrant labour has been a major part of agricultural practice for years. Woody Guthrie sang about it in his 1950s song Deportee about the crash of a plane flying workers back to Mexico.
Everybody deserves a fair wage though. Perhaps people need to start paying more?
Dino Manalis Added Feb 12, 2018 - 7:15pm
The restaurant industry needs them too!
George N Romey Added Feb 12, 2018 - 7:17pm
Ding! Ding! Ding! I think we had a winner. Funny back in the 60s Americans could afford food without the illegal labor.
Katharine Otto Added Feb 12, 2018 - 7:21pm
Phil,
I believe in open borders myself.  Those farmers have a right to hire labor they can afford, and the workers have a right to work.  I suspect a major problem with US labor is overhead, especially taxes and insurance, things like payroll taxes and workman's comp.  Background checks.  Ye gods, the stumbling blocks to hiring US workers . . .  By then the strawberries would have rotted on the vine.
 
Other people on this thread have mentioned my other thoughts.  Large corporations use contractors and sub-contractors.  I'm sure my utility company does this for trimming trees around the power lines.  Nobody but the boss speaks English.
 
It's unfortunate for the worker, because he's on his own in terms of getting fair treatment.  He has no recourse if he's shorted on wages, or if he gets hurt, or the workplace is unsafe.
 
And, I've heard reverse immigration has now surpassed illegal immigration.  If we wait long enough, Trump's wall will be necessary to keep US citizens from escaping to Mexico to follow the manufacturing jobs.
John Minehan Added Feb 12, 2018 - 7:27pm
"Ding! Ding! Ding! I think we had a winner. Funny back in the 60s Americans could afford food without the illegal labor."
 
César Chavez and RFK might disagree; a lot of the Farmworker's Movement and the Lettuce Boycott was about using American labor at decent wages and conditions.  
George N Romey Added Feb 12, 2018 - 7:42pm
This will become a mute subject. Increasingly there’s machinery to do the picking. Very laborious jobs are going away. For example now in Miami Dade all trash trucks have swinging arms to pick up the cans. Only a driver is needed.
 
Its one reason we have actual emigration. Those jobs are disappearing. What illegals are in demand? Those that can work in upscale restaurants: look “American”, speak English and have social skills. They are coming from Europe by plane.
Cliff M. Added Feb 12, 2018 - 8:40pm
Phil,  Questionable undocumented immigrants have infiltrated all walks of the U.S. labor market. In the construction industry many of the questionable immigrants were the only few that remained working during the darkest hour;s of the Great Recession. They are still highly prevalent on most work sites. They have greatly cut the wage base and created a strong labor buyers market .
 I could understand using these people to harvest but letting them continue to occupy millions of everyday jobs in the workforce is a travesty. From entry level jobs which kids used to gain entrance to the workforce to many other positions gained by longevity of climbing the company ladder.
 I have empathy for these people but also do not believe this should be a key issue while the welfare of many ordinary American citizens has been ignored for to long.
Bill H. Added Feb 12, 2018 - 11:17pm
Phil -
Disagree all you want, but.....
Many large corporations are now using contract labor providers to take care of certain job functions. Quite a few of these contract labor providers in fact use undocumented workers to perform many tasks.
I spent many years in the communications industry. We used contract labor to install cable and fiber plant, perform installations, and perform certain maintenance activities. Many of the people doing this work were undocumented workers.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Feb 13, 2018 - 12:49am
The Chamber of Commerce viewpoint in all it's glory. Way to go Phil!
Michael B. Added Feb 13, 2018 - 1:36am
Jeff, I used your T.A.R.D. analogy today, giving you full credit! LOL
opher goodwin Added Feb 13, 2018 - 3:22am
As I understood it a lot of the migrant labour was temporary and legal. Have things changed?
Robert Burk Added Feb 13, 2018 - 4:31am
I just thought of something reading this... I think what we need is a system in which when a business person cannot find enough people to work for him or her he increases the wage until enough labor is found. Please, do not react hastily. I know this is a radically new idea but I honestly think capitalists ought to consider this as an option. Of course, the problem is some businesses may not be able to afford to do this. May I suggest Chapter 11 or bankruptcy in this case.  We could even call this idea the free market. I know business people detest the idea of such a beast but I am just suggesting why not try it before claiming you have the right to break any law or impose any conditions on society so long as you keep making your profits.
 
opher goodwin Added Feb 13, 2018 - 5:13am
Robert - free market? That has surely failed us hasn't it? Merely a means of exploitation.
Open borders and freedom of movement, fair wages and fair prices. Seems good to me.
Phil Greenough Added Feb 13, 2018 - 9:17am
Dave;
If a lot of countries opened their borders, the world would flood in. 
 
Opher;
I think a fair wage is the wage at which a willing employee agrees to work.  Accordingly, all wages are fair.
 
Dino;
Good point Dino!
 
Katharine;
Not for one second have I said I believe in open borders.  It’s against the law for illegals to work and for employers to hire illegals.   I believe the law should be changed, but so long as it’s in place, the employment of undocumented immigrants is not a “right.”  My article provides the economic reason to change the law and allow these people the legal right to work.  Let’s also not forget that all these undocumented workers are very fortunate (not “unfortunate”) compared to the average person from their home country who are desperate to escape to a place like America.  As for the wall being necessary to keep US citizens from escaping, that’s just your anti-Trump bias clouding your ability to think. 
 
George;
More people are employed today that at any time in the history of the Earth.  In addition, there are more machines today than at any time in the history of the Earth.  So your comment makes no sense. 
 
Cliff;
What’s a “questionable” undocumented immigrant?  For the record, they have not infiltrated all walks of the US labor market.  Or do you believe there are undocumented bankers and biochemists in the labor force?   Nobody is letting them occupy any job; the work they do is against the law.  However, just like speeding and marijuana use is against the law, some laws are not enforced very stringently. 
 
Bill;
This is not a country where we have to walk around with papers ala Nazi Germany.  If a corporation wants to hire a company to clean its offices and that company uses undocumented immigrants, the corporation has done nothing wrong.
 
Robert;
Before I offer a response, I just want to be sure you’re not kidding. 
Robert Burk Added Feb 13, 2018 - 9:46am
Its closer to sarcasm than a joke.
It seems everytime labor shortages are experienced, meaning businesses cannot get the labor they want at the price they want the only solution becomes communism. I always understood capitalists were capitalists and supported a free market.
 
Robert Burk Added Feb 13, 2018 - 9:48am
I bet these fruit growers would be amazed at just how many people they could hire if they kept upping the wage scale until the got the response they wanted (called the free market solution). Or we could give the farms to the laborors and solve the problem that way.
 
Cliff M. Added Feb 13, 2018 - 10:03am
Phil, By me in North east New Jersey questionable labor is highly visible in many business ventures. A labor black market has been created especially since the great recession where cash is king and benefits do not exist. I don't see how this is good for our economy.Day laborer's congregate daily only blocks from my home a half a block from the local police station. You can tell how the economy is doing by how many are left standing around by mid day.With the labor participation rate still low keeping these people employed while citizens can not get into the work force is a large reason the labor market remains weak as I see it. They are in direct competition with many of the long term unemployed who have been frozen out of the labor economy.
Phil Greenough Added Feb 13, 2018 - 10:15am
Robert;
Who gave you this idea about labor shortages and the solution being communism?  I’ve never heard anyone say or write something like that.  Of course fruit growers could find American Citizens to pick fruit with offers of higher wages. The problem is that it would cost too much money to pick strawberries, making it so they couldn’t turn a profit.  So they would make the decision to leave the fruit on the vine.  As for “giving the farms to the laborers,” was that more sarcasm?
 
Cliff;
What’s “questionable labor?”  A labor black market has always existed, as America’s problems with illegal immigration is a longstanding one.  The reason it’s good for the economy is because without illegal immigrant labor farmers would leave the fruit on the vine.  Let alone the millions of other jobs and benefits of that labor, that would cease to exist.  While true that some illegal immigrants have taken work away from some American Citizens, on the whole, increased economic activity from employing illegals creates more jobs.  Don’t believe, look at all the jobs that would be lost if America was no longer the largest strawberry producer in the world. 
Bill Kamps Added Feb 13, 2018 - 10:35am
Phil, if you build a business model based on getting cheap illegal labor, and that labor is no longer around, then yes of course you have a financial problem.  It is simple economics.
 
It is similar to those in California who built orchards in the desert based on cheap water.  Now the water is not so cheap because it is more scarce.  Are we the taxpayers supposed to subsidize those farmers because they made unrealistic assumptions about the cost of labor and water?
 
More to your basic point.  The average person in the US benefits from cheap illegal immigrant labor.  We also realize that the government has created a crazy quilt of unenforceable laws.  This is why local governments do not help ISIS with the immigration problem.  Every time they try, ISIS gives them a mess.  So local law enforcement just ignores the problem.
 
It would be pretty easy to dry up the jobs for illegal immigrants.  Just make sure they have a valid Social Security number that really belongs to them, and stop companies from paying cash  to their employees.  If they aren't on a W2 or 1099, dont allow the deduction on their tax return.  The fact that we dont enforce the laws, shows that business has communicated to  the  government that in general we dont want the laws enforced.
Bill H. Added Feb 13, 2018 - 10:55am
 
 "If a corporation wants to hire a company to clean its offices and that company uses undocumented immigrants, the corporation has done nothing wrong."
My point exactly - many corporations use as much contract labor as possible these days to avoid hiring and paying their own workers, therefore they are (although indirectly) hiring undocumented workers in many cases. So is the reason that they don't want to see the supply of these workers shut down.
Many I.T. companies are hiring workers from overseas via H1-B visas and also using network configuration, monitoring, and storage services that are based overseas.
The idea of "bringing jobs back to America" is obviously a very good idea, but in reality so many corporations depend on present laws and loopholes for using foreign and undocumented workers, and will certainly resist any efforts to change or eliminate these laws and loopholes.
opher goodwin Added Feb 13, 2018 - 11:11am
Phil - sorry to disagree. Some people find themselves in situations where they are forced to work for starvation wages through no fault of their own. They are exploited. They deserve a fair wage.
Cliff M. Added Feb 13, 2018 - 11:25am
Phil, In New Jersey the largest legal immigration population is from India. If so why are there Mexican  and many other central and South American people all over New Jersey gainfully employed working for many times half of what used to be the going rate?Another reason migrant farm workers are in demand is because many have gone on to better paying positions which used to belong to native citizens.
Phil Greenough Added Feb 13, 2018 - 11:41am
Bill Kamps;
As for the suggestion that it would be “pretty easy” to dry up the jobs for illegal immigrants, that’s nonsense unless you think humans can survive without food and water or that illegals will self-deport.    
 
Are we the taxpayers supposed to subsidize those farmers because they made unrealistic assumptions about the cost of labor and water?
 
Absolutely not.  But we the taxpayers don’t have to do anything but allow illegals the right to work.  As for California and its water issues, much of the shortage is created by the government and could be resolved with a stroke of a pen.  Now that I think about it, much of our problem with illegal immigration could also be resolved with a stroke of a pen too.
 
Bill;
Let’s chalk-up our disagreement as misunderstanding.  Whether we’re talking about corporations hiring firms that hire illegals or individuals hiring nannies and gardeners that came here illegally, we’ve all found “loopholes.”  I just read a lot of anti-corporation bias coming from your tone and I have one response to anyone that treats corporations like the enemy…it’s not wise to bite the hand that feeds you. 
 
Opher;
If someone is forced to work against their will that’s called slavery. It’s ridiculous to suggest someone would go to work and starve.  Why wouldn’t they just quit?
 
Cliff;
Illegals have always worked for less than the American Citizen rate.  So I don’t follow your question. 
opher goodwin Added Feb 13, 2018 - 11:49am
Phil - lots of people are forced to work against their will. For many work is slavery or prostitution. They wouldn't do it unless they had to!
Bill H. Added Feb 13, 2018 - 12:06pm
When "the hand that feeds you" gives Americans less and less while they take and keep more and more for themselves at the expense of our entire system, then I begin to question whether many corporations actually care about the betterment of our country in the long run, or just their CEO salaries and month-end stockholder report.
 
Phil Greenough Added Feb 13, 2018 - 12:55pm
Opher;
Having to work and being forced to work are totally different statuses of employment.  The latter is slavery and I concede that these people are not paid a fair wage. 
 
Bill;
Spare me.  For every person that’s employed by a corporation that’s one less person sucking at the teat of the state.  Not to mention the fact their income is taxed, as well as the profits and distributions of the corporation.  Corporations, especially the large and successful ones, make it so that all those Mom & Pop businesses can report breakeven profit (as in a tax rate of 0%) and the government still has revenue to dole out.   You may not like it, but they are the hand that feeds us. 
Bill Kamps Added Feb 13, 2018 - 1:10pm
As for the suggestion that it would be “pretty easy” to dry up the jobs for illegal immigrants, that’s nonsense unless you think humans can survive without food and water or that illegals will self-deport.
 
If there are no jobs, they wont stay.  Yes they may get the odd nanny job, or grass cutting job, but the big employers wont be able to employ them if payroll laws were enforced.  There are only two ways to pay an illegal alien, by cash, or with a fake Social Security Number.  Both are easy for to detect.  The SSN has to be real, or the system will kick it out when payroll is filed, so you just have to make sure the SSN belongs to the person being paid, that is not being done.  To stop cash payments, just stop allowing companies to deduct cash payments to people that dont have a 1099 or SSN. 
 
If employers cant deduct the salary for tax purposes the advantage of the lower salary disappears.  This is not difficult to stop.  Fake SSNs are routinely available, it would not be difficult for government payroll system to detect this and kick  them out.
 
I am an employer, and while we have to get paper work that proves someone can work here when we hire them, no one ever checks the paper work or the proof documents.  When we file payroll, no one checks that the SSN belongs to the person it is assigned, in fact a name is not even on the form, just the SSN when the with holding tax is taken out.   It is stupid how things are done and just invites fraud. 
 
Right now people come on tourist visas, get a fake SSN, and just stay. It is not difficult.  I know multiple waitresses who arrived that  way. 
George N Romey Added Feb 13, 2018 - 2:43pm
My nephew teaches in a school outside of Naples that is home to illegal immigrant growers. On a daily basis social services and police must come to the school and intervene in everything from head lice to visible bruises brought on by beatings at home or within the local migrant community. So Phil who pays for all this stuff? It sure the hell isnt Wal Mart.
Phil Greenough Added Feb 13, 2018 - 3:52pm
Bill;
The journey illegals took to get here, coupled with the miserable conditions they left, means it would take enormous hardship for them to self-deport.  As for the suggestion that corporations are employing illegal immigrants, that’s a fiction.  They work under table or via some intermediary company.  Said intermediary company has not assets to take, so there is no incentive for government bureaucrats to prosecute.  If they did prosecute, as fast as you can say “intermediary,” another will take the place of the prosecuted company, doing the exact same thing. 
 
As for your thoughts on using the tax code to achieve the reforms you desire, those employers that pay under the table are already not deducting those payments, as it would be a sure way to be prosecuted for employing illegals. 
 
The fake social security number users are not “easily” detected.  That’s like saying we should save money on Medicare by eliminating all the fraudulent claims and then thinking it’s easily done. 
 
George;
Tell me how Florida’s economy would look if oranges were left on the vine?  So as you can see, illegals pay for all that stuff as they are the ones that make it possible to have fruit growing industries.  So are you saying only illegals have head lice and abusive parents?  That sounds a lot like something Trump would say and you don’t strike me as a Trump guy. 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Feb 13, 2018 - 9:12pm
You may not like it, but they are the hand that feeds us.
 
All hail the great, benevolent and powerful corporation!!
 
HAIL! HAIL! HAIL!
 
George N Romey Added Feb 14, 2018 - 12:43am
No but a bigger share of problems are associated with poverty in case you've never noticed.  Cheap food comes with a cost in multiple ways.
Robert Burk Added Feb 14, 2018 - 4:42am
Phil, so you admit capitalism does not work but you do not think using the state to provide you with cheap labor is not communism or at least socialism (socialism for the wealthy that is). And  I did not know the free market tells us that if we cannot sell our goods at a price we wish we can resort to illegal activities to incrase the bottom line. I guess the free market is only for labor.
(Eveything I say is sarcasm, i can find no other expression when talking about capitalism. Its such a farce).
 
Robert Burk Added Feb 14, 2018 - 4:45am
There is only one reason for illegals, to outflank the free market when it comes to wages. Everything else is a snowjob and irrelevant. Illegals keep wages low and labor weak and that is why corporations support it and their government allies turn a blind eye to it.
 
Phil Greenough Added Feb 14, 2018 - 8:13am
George;
I don’t know how many times I can say the same thing to you and for you to still not be able to grasp my point.  So this is my last attempt, I’m not talking about cheap fruit, illegal immigrants are the difference between having fruit growing industries and not having those industries. 
 
Robert;
Were those comments intended to be directed towards me?  The reason I ask is because nothing you wrote addresses anything I wrote.  By way of example, I have no interest in the state providing cheap labor and think capitalism works just fine. 
Gerrilea Added Feb 14, 2018 - 9:12am
Phil G---Why do you provide only two choices? The use of slave labor or no strawberries?
 
If we are not, first and foremost, morally grounded, then your argument and the false solutions apply. 
 
Respectfully I disagree.  Pay me $10 or $15 or $20 an hour and don't put me in a shipping container and lock it at night so that I can't run away. Don't make me work 18 hours a day AND I'll pick your strawberries.
 
Is it morally acceptable to say, we'll import slaves just so we can have a delicacy all year round? Is your McMansion and your manicured gardens on your plantation more important? 
 
No thank you.
 
There ARE other moral choices.  Grow your own strawberries, if you really want them or pay the real human cost of having them grown & harvested for you.
 
Notice that I didn't have to say a word about illegal immigration?  
 
NOW I will.  When you allow criminals to invade this nation or any nation, their presence destroys the earning power of the people living there.  IT becomes a race to the bottom.
 
I'll give you a personal example. My hometown, Johnson City, NY became a "host" to thousands and thousands of Laotians, over 20,000 were allowed. They lived 10 or 15 people to a 1 bedroom apartment. They were matriculated into the school system and guess what??? They went bankrupt. A few years back they had a referendum on dissolution of the city.  Surprisingly, it didn't pass.
 
Please note, Johnson City High School, was in the top 10 High Schools in the nation, 30 yrs ago.  NOT ANYMORE, the entire town is a ghetto.
 
This same process has been repeated thousands and thousands of times throughout our nation. 
 
NO, just no!
 
I will not live as a slave and pauper in my own nation because your bottom line suffered.
 
Phil Greenough Added Feb 14, 2018 - 9:36am
Gerrilea;
At no time have I advocated for slave labor.  The strawberry industry, like most fruit growing industries, happens to be labor intensive.  Because of that, to be competitive in the industry, one must have access to cheap labor. 
 
I take the time to address all of my commenters, however, because your opening two questions are a distortion of my position, I’m choosing to ignore the rest of what you wrote.  Kindly re-write your comment, assuming you don’t distort my position again, I’ll be happy to address all of it.
Gerrilea Added Feb 14, 2018 - 9:54am
Phil G--- No, I have not distorted anything you've espoused here. Have you any experience with illegal immigration on farms? Do you not understand that most of them are forced into it? Do you not know that many of them are placed in shipping containers, after their 18-20 day and the door is locked, preventing them from running away?
 
If you don't understand the reality of what you are promoting, then it's you whom has distorted reality.
 
Illegal Immigration is the new slavery. 
 
Now that I've introduced you into the reality millions of exist in. Take a moment and read the truth, as I've experienced it. Sometime the truth is very ugly, but the truth none the less.
Gerrilea Added Feb 14, 2018 - 10:02am
And Phil, your false choices are still false.
 
"The strawberry industry, like most fruit growing industries, happens to be labor intensive.  Because of that, to be competitive in the industry, one must have access to cheap labor. "
 
NO, grow your own or go without.  IF slave labor is the only false solution, WE DON'T NEED the strawberries.
 
Hell, go into another business. If profits are your only motive, you will eventually fail and the system you're promoting will be destroyed.  History shows this outcome to be all but inevitable.
Tamara Wilhite Added Feb 14, 2018 - 10:32am
Phil Greenough Farm automation is eliminating any justification for legal and illegal immigrants as farm labor.
Bill Kamps Added Feb 14, 2018 - 11:19am
They work under table or via some intermediary company.  Said intermediary company has not assets to take, so there is no incentive for government bureaucrats to prosecute.
 
I can name three restaurants in Houston where everyone they employ is an illegal alien.  No intermediary company, I know the people that work there.   That all have fake SSNs.
 
It doesnt matter if there are assets to take the tax people want their taxes.  We have been audited because the IRS wants to check that our 1099 people shouldnt be instead on a W2, and we dont have any assets to take.   In both cases they get taxes, but a little less if people are on 1099.   They audit not to take assets but to make sure we aren't cheating them out of some tax.  We are small company, smaller than these intermediaries you talk about.
 
Fake SSNs are trivial to detect.  When we turn in the form for payroll, there is no name on the form, so ANYONE could be using that number.  They dont check the number is being used by the person it is assigned to.  You telling me this cant be checked ?  You telling me someone cant write a simple program to compare the name that is assigned to the number?
 
OF course companies deduct their cash labor, that are illegal aliens, otherwise they are losing like 30% on that money.  They try to hide the cash payments as something else, but it would be easy to detect.  Once again, they audit my 20 person company, you telling me they cant audit a farm in Calif that produces almonds, or lettuce and has revenues of tens of millions at least ?  That labor would be easy to track. 
 
Im not sure where you are getting your information.  I run a company and I know how these things work.  What company do you run, and what is on your payroll forms when you submit your FICA funds to the government?
Bill Kamps Added Feb 14, 2018 - 11:27am
"The strawberry industry, like most fruit growing industries, happens to be labor intensive.  Because of that, to be competitive in the industry, one must have access to cheap labor. "
 
It only needs cheap labor to be competitive because OTHER growers are ALSO using illegal aliens.  If everyone was using legal labor then they would still be competitive.  Yes, strawberries would be a bit more expensive, and they might sell a bit less, but as Gerrilea says, they are not a necessity.   What % are strawberries of your monthly budget and how many fewer would you eat if they were 50% more expensive?   Would you really not buy them if they cost $1-2 a box more?
 
The problem is the business model is built on the premise of using illegal labor.  No one said that farmer could ONLY grow strawberries, or only be a farmer for that matter. 
Phil Greenough Added Feb 14, 2018 - 11:52am
Gerrilea;
I don’t think you understand reality.  You also don’t have a strong grasp of the English language.  For example, the question: Do you not understand that most of them are forced into it? is riddled with problems.  If I were to answer “yes” am I saying I understand or don’t understand?  Who’s them?  What is it?  If I were to answer yes to your questions, would my opinion on these matters be proof that I’m right?  If not, what’s the point of your questions?  Or would I need to physically pick strawberries for you to treat my opinions with respect?  Speaking of respect, so long as you resort to ad hominem attack, you’ll receive none from me. 
 
Tamara;
So it’s your assertion illegals are not picking fruit? 
 
Bill;
Nobody wants to close three restaurants in Houston.  However, a company like Walmart has huge assets to go after and should it ever be caught employing illegals, you can be sure some government bureaucrat will go after those assets.  Should you close off the fake social security method (which I concede is possible), they will find another way to work.  Furthermore, no company is going to openly admit they’re employing illegals and expose itself to prosecution.
 
Allow me to provide a personal anecdote, a factory near where I live was raided and many illegals were found to be working there.  Wouldn’t you know it, many of those illegals had children in the local school system and nobody came to pick them up after school.  So now, you have a closed factory, jails filled will illegals and American citizen children with no father or mother to care for them.  Not to mention all that lost business activity / tax revenue from having that factory in operation.  Or we can just look the other way and let the ones already here….work. 
 
My point is this, illegals aren’t going home and they aren’t going to starve to death.  Attempting to end their employment options is an economic, humanitarian and logistical nightmare.  So just let them work.     
Bill Kamps Added Feb 14, 2018 - 12:09pm
Phil,  just because I say we could make employment of illegals MUCH more difficult does not mean I want them all exported.    As I said in my first comment, most people dont really care that much. Myself included.
 
However, it is a false notion that we need a wall, or better laws to keep illegals out.  We can keep most of them out by enforcing the laws that we have, it would not be difficult,  we choose not do so.
 
I also agree that if we started enforcing the laws tomorrow, there would be a lot of problems because we have let things go for decades.  I saw a teenager on TV the other day who is a DACA kid, and she was saying of course she is worried.  She said her parents are here illegally, and they just finished paying off their mortgage.  Now how many questions does that raise, how do people get a mortgage that are not here legally?  Do you think you could easily get a job, a drivers license, and mortgage in France, or the UK or any other modern country if you were there just as a tourist? no of course not. Because they have systems in place that check things.  We dont have such  systems.
 
You say better enforcement would not restrict the illegals, but in other countries they dont have this degree of the problem.  No system keeps everyone out that is illegal, but quite a few systems work a lot better than ours.
 
Having said that, why do you say small companies are too small for the IRS or other services to pick on? they pick on us, and we only employ 20 people.  We have been audited twice and we are FAR from a big fish.  Why not a restaurant that also only employs 20 people or so?   I think you underestimate how often companies get audited routinely anyway.  It is not just the  big companies.
 
My point is not that it should be done, my point is that systems to enforce our laws would not be that difficult to put in place.  We already audit companies with only 20 people in them.
Gerrilea Added Feb 14, 2018 - 12:15pm
Phil, pointing out what many illegal aliens that work on farms is now an ad hominem? Describing what I've witnessed and lived through is somehow not grasping the English language?  Pluease.
 
Your moral argument fails.  "...humanitarian...nightmare.."  Let's review history, why are they coming here in the first place? NAFTA, GATT, the IMF and all those "free trade agreements".
 
Their goal wasn't free trade but the enslavement of the entire planet to the WTO and its kangaroo "courts". 
 
If your business cannot succeed by paying a living wage, then you don't have (and never had) a viable business in the first place.
 
Illegal aliens and "refugees" are a direct drain on all schools systems they attend. Unless they are property owners and pay their taxes like I do.
 
Illegal aliens and "refugees" suppress wages for all Americans, EXCEPT for our corporate overlords.
Phil Greenough Added Feb 14, 2018 - 3:13pm
Bill;
This conversation is about the ones already here, not the ones we’re trying to prevent from getting here.  So let’s not discuss the wall or anything like that.
 
I think it makes perfect sense that illegals can obtain mortgages and driver licensees.  The alternative is illegals sleeping in the street and driving unlicensed and uninsured vehicles.   
 
As for other countries not having the same degree of an immigrant problem as us, perhaps some don’t, others are far worse.  For example, I would argue the Syrian refuge crisis is far worse.  Or read this article about South African immigration trouble. 
 
As for the restaurant thing, let’s just say that no company is openly admitting to the government that they employ illegals. 
 
“my point is that systems to enforce our laws would not be that difficult to put in place”
 
To summarize my point, even if you could enforce the law, the result would be desperate immigrants, struggling businesses/industries and overall, far worse problems than we already have.  I also remain unconvinced your ideas will prevent illegals from working, as the law means very little to someone that needs to feed his or her family.  
  
Gerrilea;
Phil, pointing out what many illegal aliens that work on farms is now an ad hominem?
 
Saying I don’t have a grasp of reality is evidence of you slinging ad hominem attack. 
 
Describing what I've witnessed and lived through is somehow not grasping the English language? 
 
Asking several questions that begins with a negative is evidence of you not grasping the English language. 
 
Your moral argument fails.  "...humanitarian...nightmare.."  Let's review history, why are they coming here in the first place?
 
Like our ancestors, they come here for a chance at a better life. I’m making no moral argument, just stating a fact. 
George N Romey Added Feb 14, 2018 - 4:33pm
Gerrila you summed it up perfectly. Phil is clueless to the indirect costs of illegal immigration. I live in Miami, I see it every day. 
Tamara Wilhite Added Feb 14, 2018 - 6:45pm
 

Phil Greenough Most illegal aliens are NOT picking fruit. And there is NO industry where illegal aliens are the majority of labor, so yes, real Americans will do these jobs.
The use of illegal immigrants does deter some from working in these fields because it pulls down wages.
Illegal immigration is hurting the poorest Americans by preventing employers from having to pay a living wage, while illegals regularly use public services like hospitals and schools that they will never pay enough in any indirect taxes to offset.
 
Gerrilea Added Feb 15, 2018 - 12:14am
George-- its apparent that he has no legitimate argument or desire to admit that illegal immigration is bad for them and for the host country.  He's attempted to deflect from the issues and points made and instead argue semantics.
 
It's boils down to this: He want's them here so he can have cheap fruit and an outrageous "bottom line".  He's argued that without them, many industries would simply collapse. Poppycock.
 
I still don't see a problem with this outcome at all.  If your business model needs slave labor to exist or survive, it's not a viable business.
 
When that argument didn't work, he moved the goal posts to claim it was a humanitarian endeavor.  Poppycock, yet again.
 
Why are they coming here? NAFTA, GATT, etc destroyed their ability to make a living in their own nations. We were fed the lie they would create jobs, free trade was the only answer we needed.  No, Ross Perot was spot on. "That great sucking sound you'll hear will be American jobs fleeing the country."
 
Where was the morality then?
 
Now, 30 yrs later, we're furious. And the latest "solution" they're trying to push on us is the "free trade" of people(s)...better known as illegal immigration. "We must think of the children!"
 
Wait, let me quote exactly:
 
"Wouldn’t you know it, many of those illegals had children in the local school system and nobody came to pick them up after school.  So now, you have a closed factory, jails filled will illegals and American citizen children with no father or mother to care for them."
 
Look, George, I'd love to see people come here legally, as long as we have more jobs than our own population can fill.  That's reasonable and logical.  BUT with our real unemployment at 21.6% (from Shadow Stats), we have millions of Americans here that need jobs. ADD in the homeless and we're closing in on 25% of our population.
 
Where's the morality in this? 
 
Now this doesn't include the 7+ million that are on the verge of homelessness ("at risk" from US Census) ALL because some guy wants cheap fruit and slave labor to increase his bottom line.
 
George N Romey Added Feb 15, 2018 - 12:35am
Not to mention unemployed and in particular underemployed Americans are vying for social aid both public and private with illegal immigrants making less than minimum wage.  Who benefits?  The Wal Marts of the world.  
Phil Greenough Added Feb 15, 2018 - 5:19am
Tamara;
Most illegal aliens are NOT picking fruit. And there is NO industry where illegal aliens are the majority of labor, so yes, real Americans will do these jobs.
We agree on those points.
 
The use of illegal immigrants does deter some from working in these fields because it pulls down wages.
Disagree.  The economy is not a zero sum game.  The increased economic activity from all those illegals working creates opportunities all over the income ladder.  If you could you snap your finger and eliminate their ability to work, think of all the truck drivers that will no longer have strawberries to haul.  Would you like me to name some more higher-paying ancillary jobs that will disappear?
 
Illegal immigration is hurting the poorest Americans by preventing employers from having to pay a living wage
It’s not the fault of illegal immigrants that some Americans are poor.  As for the living wage, illegals are living off the wage received for picking strawberries. 
 
while illegals regularly use public services like hospitals and schools that they will never pay enough in any indirect taxes to offset.
The biggest user of public dollars are the elderly. The services young working illegals consume is nothing compared to the economic benefit they provide all of us.  I mean can you imagine how much more expensive our cost of living would if it wasn’t for their labor?  From cutting my grass to getting a sandwich at lunch, everything I do would be way more expensive.   Besides, there is no alternative, as it’s a pipe dream if you think they’re going to self-deport.  So it’s up to you, deny their ability to work and put all of them on the public dole (by a degree much larger than you think they’re currently on it) or let them work. 
 
Gerrilea and George;
I encourage both of you “clueless” rednecks to read my last two sentences to Tamara.  As you can see, you have “no legitimate argument.”  QED.
 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Feb 15, 2018 - 7:25am
Crapitalists encourage their minions in gov't from the gang of 535 down to beat cop to ignore the law so crapitalists can enjoy even bigger houses, vehicles, yachts and airplanes 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Feb 15, 2018 - 7:30am
The only way crapitalists will obey the law and do whats right regards illegal workers is to have laws that penalize the employer directly. Employers who employ illegals going to prison for a year for every illegal employed would go a long way to ending their smug abuse. Make the sentences consecutive. Fine them $100k for each one too. 
 
In other words the abuse will never stop and others like the author will continue to rub our noses in it. 
Cliff M. Added Feb 15, 2018 - 10:12am
Phil, In the construction industry many illegal aliens are working for half of what the going rate used to be.On top of that they are hired and fired at the employers whim leaving no incentive to create jobs that have any continuity. I have seen this situation firsthand . These people never worked for me so I had no legitimate reason to question what was going on but I saw an argument over foreman wages and they were half of the going rate.Back in 2012 when the construction industry was in real bad shape I visited job site after job site that had nothing but questionable labor that all claimed they did not speak English. It was tough to stomach all of these people working while my own situation was a mess. It took me almost 8 months to find a job and that was at a 33% discount. The situation is only good for those exploiting the circumstances. Hurts everyone else.
Gerrilea Added Feb 15, 2018 - 11:31am
Phil, your empty false choices and arguments reveals the true nature of this propaganda piece. 
 
This statement, reveal it perfectly:
 
"The services young working illegals consume is nothing compared to the economic benefit they provide all of us.  I mean can you imagine how much more expensive our cost of living would  (BE) if it wasn’t for their labor? From cutting my grass to getting a sandwich at lunch, everything I do would be way more expensive. "
 
Phil, I'm disappointed that you decided devolve your arguments into truly personal attacks:
 
     "I encourage both of you “clueless” redneck..."
 
I have a 137 IQ, educated in a private Jesuit College in Buffalo NY and I work for a living. I was once a progressive liberal democrat until I realized their goals didn't actually benefit anyone, especially me.  Their actions and goals today have become absolutely psychotic.
 
So, sir...I'm anything but a redneck.
 
That said, illegal immigration hurts us all, especially the illegal.
 
The real costs of the "free trade of peoples", ie illegal immigration, are enormous.
 
"FAIR" estimates the annual costs at $113 billion a year, broken down that's $1117 per head of household.
 
The biggest cost is our school systems, $84 billion.  More children, less resources to actually teach them. Our children suffer.  This suffering effects their entire life.
 
Then we must consider the lost tax revenues, estimated at $30 billion a year. Then the lost wages because  you wanted cheap strawberries, that stands at $118 billion a year.
 
So, illegal immigration costs us directly $264 billion a year.  This doesn't include costs to our medical system, costs to our infrastructure or the costs of prosecution and incarceration when they kill, steal or break other laws we have.
 
PHIL, I'll make a deal with you.  When every American in need of a job has a full time living wage job, then we'll let them stay. Provided they too can support themselves in a legal manner.
 
Until then, you're just blowing smoke up my ass.
 
George N Romey Added Feb 15, 2018 - 11:32am
Illegal immigration is not a net positive for this country. This is the author that tried to claim lobbyists were good for Americans. He’s obviously spent too much time sitting watching CNBC and not enough time to doing actual research. Even worse are the HB1 visa mills which is a form of legalized illegal immigration.
Gerrilea Added Feb 15, 2018 - 11:59am
George- thanks, I forgot about that aspect.
 
Mother Jones has an article on this and it stands at 300,000 jobs lost each year to H-1B visa "holders".
 
UGhhhhhhhhhh.
George N Romey Added Feb 15, 2018 - 12:03pm
And those people ain’t pickin tomatoes for five bucks an hour. They’re taking very good upper middle income professional jobs.
Phil Greenough Added Feb 15, 2018 - 1:00pm
Jeffry;
What’s a crapitalist?  Or did you mean to write "capitalist," which I guess means you believe capitalism is inferior to some other economic system?  Kindly name that system.
 
Cliff;
Since the beginning of construction, illegals have worked in the industry at rates significantly less than what American Citizens work for.  Nothing salient changed for you to think they suddenly work for less and are the reason you found yourself unemployed.  It’s thanks to these workers consumers can get more bang out of their renovation buck.  Furthermore, the questionable labor I see is from union construction workers.  After all, were it true that illegal immigrant labor was questionable, why would people hire them? 
 
Gerrilea;
What makes my thoughts the product of “propaganda” and your thoughts more important?  Allow me, you don’t know how to debate without resorting to insult. Because of that I will continue to ignore a lot of what you write and insult you right back.  Like George, you still don't have the intellectual capacity to grasp the difference between cheap strawberries and a vibrant strawberry producing industry, an industry made possible by illegal immigrant labor.  As for all the billions you say they're costing us, none of it is supported by any evidence.  It’s just the same mindless crap one can see out of every third Breitbart article. 
 
George;
It’s one thing to be against illegal immigration, quite another to be against legal immigration of other nation’s best and brightest.  It’s unfortunate you feel that way, you can take solace in the fact many Americans agree with you.  What all of you don’t appreciate is that the economy is not a zero sum game.  By way of example, some companies need highly skilled employees, to the extent they can’t find them here or to the extent they’re too expensive here, they’ll go elsewhere.  I think we should entice them to come here or grow here.  With labor being the largest line-item in their budget, a big part of that enticement is made possible by H-1B visas.  
Cliff M. Added Feb 15, 2018 - 1:32pm
  Phil, Do you think it is fair that the American tax payer has been stuck paying the bills for all of the American citizens that were gainfully employed until the Great Recession and the wave of illegal immigrant labor took over? Do you think it is right that day laborers can be fired and hired on a daily basis with out them or employers paying taxes or for benefits? What's up with you? Are you one of those who are reaping the rewards of exploiting the situation?
  As to legal immigration there should be a way of limiting it when jobs are at a premium. A friend was a recruiter and said most people hired now are on visa's working for substantial discounts as a way to get into the U.S. and get their foot in the door. Hiring Americans at the previous going rate has become a rarity.
 
Gerrilea Added Feb 15, 2018 - 1:57pm
Phil, Phil, Phil--- I have legitimately argued against your positions.  You argued "economics", then "logistics" then "morality". Moving the goal post each time.
 
When I countered with facts, you devolved into semantics and said I do not know the English language. Going further, you devolved into personal attacks or "name calling". Refusing to actually debate your position when presented with opposition.  Concluding with the false correlation of my hard numbers to "Breitbart News".
 
NOW you claim I'm not debating "properly"???
RMFAO!!!
 
Fact: NAFTA, GATT, the IMF & WTO have destroyed the earning power of 99% of all people, no matter what nation they hail from.
Making it a race to the bottom. 
 
http://www.epi.org/blog/nafta-twenty-years-disaster/
 
      "And the economic dislocation in Mexico increased the the flow
      of undocumented workers into the United States."
 
     -cut-
 
     Which alone has cost the United States another net 2.7 million
     jobs. The result has been 20 years of relentless outsourcing of
     jobs and technology.
 
     -cut-
 
     In the even poorer countries, unregulated global trade has led
     to the ruthless exploitation of labor—from teenagers in the
     sweat shops of Bangladesh to eight year olds working in the
     gold mines of Tanzania."
 
Fact: US immigration and "refugee" policies directly resulted in my hometown going bankrupt to the point of dissolution and in the process turning it into a ghetto.
 
Link to PDF Johnson City Dissolution Committee Findings, 2009:
 
https://www.dos.ny.gov/lg/publications/LGEProjectReports/2007/JCAddendum083109.pdf
 
Fact: It costs us at minimum, $264 Billion a year because of those immigration & refugee policies. Other published statistics show the cost at $346 Billion (as of 2016).
 
https://amac.us/illegal-immigrants-cost-health-care-system/
 
Fact: H-1B Visa holders are stealing jobs from Americans at a rate of 300,000 per year.
 
https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/02/silicon-valley-h1b-visas-hurt-tech-workers/
 
Now Phil, you've been provided links and evidence of why I'm personally against illegal immigration. And why I believe you are posting propaganda pieces. This isn't a personal attack, pure observation. They are devoid of critical analysis or rational thought.
 
You want cheap strawberries and lawn care but you are unwilling to accept the consequences of your position.
 
Economically, logistically and  morally...illegal immigration hurts us all.
 
 
George N Romey Added Feb 15, 2018 - 1:58pm
Phil clear empirical evidence has been presented that illegal immigration is not a positive. You’ve haven’t provided any numbers that it is. You might think you are intellectually superior to us but where’s your proof?
Gerrilea Added Feb 15, 2018 - 3:56pm
George-- I concur. I'd love to see it, but I'm sure we're still just a couple of rednecks that don't understand why and how we got into this mess in the first place.
 
Phil Greenough Added Feb 15, 2018 - 3:57pm
Cliff;
There was no wave of illegal immigration following the great recession.  The suggestion doesn’t even make logical sense, as illegal immigrants are more enticed to come here the healthier our economy.  To the extent the economy is weak and unemployment is high, the difference in cost between an illegal and a Citizen is much closer. 
 
Gerrilea;
You drew first blood (as in you launched the first insult).  Accordingly, any nastiness emitting from me, is because of you.  As for moving the goal posts or dwelling on semantics, I have no idea what you’re talking about.  I will give you another chance to further your education, kindly re-write your last comment sans insult and I’ll respond to it without insult.  May the record show, I don’t think it’s something you’re capable of, as I don’t think you even know when you’re slinging insults.    
 
George;
My proof is that strawberry picking is labor intensive, meaning to be competitive in the industry, one needs a low cost of labor.  Between minimum wage laws, Obamacare and all the other free stuff Citizens qualify for by not working, there is no chance these jobs can be filled by Citizens unless the wage was much higher than it currently is. This is all basic common sense but if you want a number, try 1,312,960.  That’s how many tons of strawberries this country produces.  Here’s another number, 4.  That’s how many times more our production is than the next closest country. 
George N Romey Added Feb 15, 2018 - 4:36pm
Cliff they come when the home building industry gets squeezed and looks for lower labor costs. Phil wgat you can’t wrap your head around is that most picker jobs would have been automated now if it wasn’t for dirt cheap labor. And machines do not need social services.
 
In Miami there was a shortage of garbage collectors given the very unpleasant nature of the job. Lots of illegals would do it but Miami Dade county can’t simply hire  illegals. So the county hust automated that job. 
 
Come to South Florida and tell me that illegal immigration isn’t straining both public and private social services. I’ve had caseworkers tell me an illegal with children will always take priority over a citizen that is single.
Gerrilea Added Feb 15, 2018 - 5:12pm
Phil-- Must I provide definitions for words and logical fallacies?
 
Okay, so that we are both on the same page, here goes.
 
-Semantics- the study of the meaning of linguistic expression--
 
https://web.eecs.umich.edu/~rthomaso/documents/general/what-is-semantics.html
 
Examples of you arguing how I wrote something and not arguing the point(s) being made:
 
     "...You also don’t have a strong grasp of the English language.  For example, the question:..."
     "Asking several questions that begins with a negative is evidence of you not grasping the English language."
 
-Ad hominem- attacking an opponent's character rather than answering his argument,
 
Examples of your attacks are in almost every posting to me, sadly. In one posting you called me a "redneck".
 
You misunderstood me calling your argument and position  propaganda as a personal insult.  NO, the arguments and rationalizations you've put forth are pure propaganda and are attempts at emotional manipulation.
 
Learn to understand the differences.
 
-Propaganda- "Propaganda are fallacious arguments that have an agenda to get you to act in a way that benefits the proponents."
 
You stated, at various times,  you wanted cheap strawberries and cheap lawn care. Your arguments were designed to get us to accept your position as valid when in reality, it was self-serving.
 
-Moving the goal posts- "A method of denial that involves arbitrarily moving the criteria for “proof” or acceptance out of range of whatever evidence currently exists."
 
I provided you with links, numbers and evidence against your arguments and you kept changing what you'd deem "acceptable".
 
-False correlation/poisoning the well- Claiming something is just like something else.
 
You stated my numbers came from Breitbart or similar.  Implying I was making up the numbers and therefore those facts can be dismissed out of hand.
 
You're arguments moved from economics, to logistics to morality.
 
Each time you were presented with evidence, you used one or more of the logical fallacies listed above to discredit, deflect and ignore my arguments.
 
Look Phil, I don't know who you are. I really don't care.  I do care when people say "illegal immigration" is good...for whatever reason.
 
Plain and simple, illegal immigration hurts everyone. IF you could show me verifiable facts with logical and reasoned arguments. I might actually listen.

 
Phil Greenough Added Feb 16, 2018 - 6:50am
Semantics – The question “Do you not understand that most of them are forced into it?” is evidence of poor grammar because of the word “not.”    Because of that word, I’m not entirely sure what a “yes” or “no” reply would mean.  You asked a series of questions like that and I was pointing it out to you.  In all this prose, I have not harped on your semantics / grammar one other time.  So “pluease” just get over it. 
 
Ad Hominem – Once again, the reason I started slinging insults is because you drew first blood.  Your latest comment contains no insults, so hopefully this issue is behind us. 
 
Propaganda – The expressing of an opinion I truly believe is not propaganda and you belittling my thoughts by calling it propaganda is rude.  I believe my arguments are not fallacious and I believe yours are.  However, I respect the fact you’re entitled to your opinion, you should show me the same respect.  Propaganda is more like Obama’s Life of Julia campaign or passing out leaflets that the war is almost over behind enemy lines.   
 
Goal posts/ False correlation/poisoning the well – I haven’t moved any goal posts, made any false correlations or poisoned any well.  However, if you restate a fact you think has merit, seeing that we’re not communicating in a friendly manner, I’ll be happy to address it. 
 
Plain and simple, illegal immigration hurts everyone – If you’re strawberry truck driver and the strawberries you haul are picked by illegals, then illegal immigration is your lifeblood.  That’s one person it helps, meaning your statement is wrong.  Would you like to learn about some other people it helps? 
 
Moving forward – Let’s make this the last comment in this exhausting thread.  Kindly write an article on what you should be done about illegal immigration and I’ll be happy to drop by and provide my two cents.
Rusty Smith Added Feb 16, 2018 - 9:05am
Phil Greenough several years ago I asked myself what would happen if there were no illegals to pick fruit and did a study of what part of a fruit's market price is farm labor.  I was quite surprised, it's a very small part.  The government tracks and publishes those costs very well, by crop and geographical area so it was an easy research project.
 
As things turned  out, the labor cost is so small that price would only rise about 10% if they paid the workers $30 per hour.
 
As I said it's different depending on the crop and location, strawberries being one of the most impacted, because they are labor intensive, crops that can be mechanically harvested require very little labor.
 
Crops are grown all over the US but at that time illegal Mexican labor was only a substantial factor in a few parts of the country like Southern California, because the illegals seemed to prefer to work close to home.  Those who think farming would collapse without them seem to overlook the fact that farming does quite well in places where there are no illegals, they just have to pay more for their labor, and yes it slightly raises the price of produce.
 
It is true that farmers have to compete, and NAFTA made imported fruit very competitive.  If a farmer can't see his strawberries as cheaply as Mexican imports, he will need to switch to a crop he can make a profit on, but that doesn't mean he's going to go out of business.  That's ALWAYS been true, and only effected our market price a little.
 
So where does the money go if not to all those poor illegals?  Half the cost is added after the fruit is picked to ship it, store it, and market it to you.  Before it's picked most of the money is spent getting the land ready, including fertilizers, and insecticides.  Farm equipment is a huge cost, water can be a huge cost.  The guy who picks it after everything else is done, gets another tiny slice of that money pie.  
 
If we took away all the illegals, and had no other source for that produce, we'd pay slightly more, perhaps 10%, to buy it from farms that produce the same stuff, maybe even in Mexico and employing the same workers.
 
It's not as complicated as everyone makes it sound.
Rusty Smith Added Feb 16, 2018 - 9:15am
Phil Greenough part TWO, the real cost of that illegal farm labor:
 
Farmers love illegals because they work hard for cheap wages, require no benefits, accept abuse most citizens wouldn't tolerate, and don't cost a penny after their short seasonal use.  Many Americans think they like illegals to because they like slightly lower produce prices.
 
Oh but wait, most of the true cost of illegal farm labor isn't paid for by the farmer, it's paid for by taxpayers who spend a fortune supporting them with their tax money.
 
The picking season is very short, and most illegals have families that stay in the US all year long.  Their kids go to our schools, they get free medical care at our hospitals and clinics, and with the help of a little fake ID, usually tap into other social assistance programs that also cost taxpayers a lot of money.  
 
We all tend to think they are hard working and a good value, but would any of you hire one if you also had to pay for their kids education, medical and other assistance, for the entire year, even if you only used them for 2 months a year?  Or would you rather pay twice or three times what you'd pay them and not have to support them for the rest of the year?
Gerrilea Added Feb 16, 2018 - 9:23am
Phil-- I've stated facts, provided links to those facts and you still haven't addressed the consequences of your positions.
 
I know now that you cannot move (debate) beyond your one-dimensional opinion.   Maybe you thought everyone was going to politely agree with everything you claimed.  And they'd do so in a format that you approved.  Welcome to the real world. We all do not agree and/or think, speak or believe the same things.
 
I will make this the last posting here. If you post another article with a false narrative, I'll respond.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Feb 16, 2018 - 9:55am
most of the true cost of illegal farm labor isn't paid for by the farmer, it's paid for by taxpayers who spend a fortune supporting them with their tax money
 
Exactly. 
 
Like all crapitalists they seek to socialize costs in the pursuit of private profit. Crapitalists are really socialist in word and action. 
Phil Greenough Added Feb 16, 2018 - 11:32am
Rusty;
Kindly share the link to the study that the price of strawberries would only rise by 10% if they paid the workers $30 an hour.  I thought the strawberry example would be helpful in that it’s something concrete one can point to that illegal immigrants are clearly doing.  However, I can see it may be too much of a distraction now, so I will make the same point using generalities.   
 
Do you agree that illegal immigrant labor is cheaper than American Citizen labor?  Assuming yes, this means the goods and services they provide via their labor is cheaper.   Accordingly assuming you could snap your fingers and end their ability to work, our cost of living would rise.  I would also add that illegals make our goods cheaper / more competitive on the world stage and exports are clearly a job creator.  Not to mention the fact competiveness of imports will increase because our domestically produced goods would be more expensive.  All of this translates into a higher quality of life thanks to the labor illegal immigrants. 
 
Gerrilea;
You’re simply too one-dimensional for me to waste any more of my brain cells on your education.  You can now go back to Breitbart, where I’m sure you’ll find an article referencing the cost of lice-infested illegals being in the trillions. You can then repeat that number all over the rest of the blogosphere.  Just be sure to keep out of my comment thread.  Thanks in advance. 
 
Jeffry;
Second request, what’s the name of the system that works better than capitalism?
Gerrilea Added Feb 16, 2018 - 12:24pm
Phil---ARE you really that threatened by little old me???
 
Your psychosis is obvious, now.  You want everyone to agree with you, end of story.
 
I can say with confidence you must be using illegal immigration directly. You rationalize their use while your fellow Americans are forced into perpetual poverty.
 
Keep on keeping on, little one. We see through your charade.
 
As for "keeping out of your comment threads", I was under the impression this was an open forum.
 
And your final feeble attempts to equate me to Breitbart are hilarious.
 
Cliff M. Added Feb 16, 2018 - 12:25pm
There is a good article on the effects of this issue on the American Affairs website titled , Low Skilled Immigration: A Case For Restriction.It explains the detrimental effect that both legal and illegal workers has had on the low work force participation rate of male prime age workers. Worth the read.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Feb 16, 2018 - 1:20pm
Second request, what’s the name of the system that works better than capitalism?
 
I ignored your request the first time.
 
I'm tempted to again.
 
However, What you posit is not only corporate behavior being above the law you describe the socialization of costs away from the corporation onto those who don't benefit from the corporation's resultant increased profit.
 
That's not your vaunted capitalism its socialism. 
 
DUHmerica does not have nor do its corporations want capitalism. 
 
Phil Greenough Added Feb 16, 2018 - 3:43pm
Gerrilea;
No, I’m not threatened by you, I’d just rather you troll someone else.  It’s true, whenever possible, I always hire an illegal immigrant to do work around my house.  I figure, why pay more for inferior work.
 
Cliff;
The reason we have a declining workforce participation rate is because Americans get too much free stuff by not working and because the population is aging. 
 
Jeffry;
Corporations do not directly hire illegals, the potential legal ramifications are way too high.  Accordingly, illegals generally find work outside of the corporate environment. 
Edgeucation Newmedia Added Feb 16, 2018 - 4:23pm
America actually has an immigration policy allowing visas for farm laborers perhaps it should be expanded. 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Feb 16, 2018 - 10:17pm
Corporations do not directly hire illegals, the potential legal ramifications are way too high.  Accordingly, illegals generally find work outside of the corporate environment. 
 
You're a piece of work. Corporations are saints. Long live the benevolent corporation! HAIL Hail hail!
 
Substitute employer for corporation if it makes you feel better Chamber of Commerce boy.  
Rusty Smith Added Feb 17, 2018 - 11:43am
Phil Greenough there is not link saying the price of strawberries would only go up X if we paid X more, I think you read my post much too quickly.
 
If you go the United States Department of Agriculture Economics, Statistics and Market Information System:
 
to http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/MannUsda/viewDocumentInfo.do?documentID=1063
 
You can look up how the costs are distributed for all common crops, in all areas, not just strawberries, and it is very specific, for example, how much on soil amendments, how much for the labor to prepare the land, how much for the labor to harvest, how much for the equipment, etc.  You can also see what farmers get per lb and compare it to what the stores charge per lb, if you want there are even very generalized stats that say how much goes to each, transportation, storage, and retail marketing.
 
From that you, just like I did, can see how small the slice of the pie is that is called "farm labor".  It's not just the guys who pick it either, it starts with land preparation and ends with clean up.
 
As I previously said the percent of labor cost varies a lot and I even said strawberries are one of the most labor intensive, (because they require much more land preparation than most other crops), and there is no automated way to pick them yet.  
 
If you think about it I'm sure you can understand what I'm saying is true.  Just transporting it to market and storing it, and the cost added by the stores, roughly doubles what the farmer gets.  Then think about the farm.
 
Usually large farming companies prep the soil, usually with huge very expensive equipment and amendments until it's physically and chemically optimized for the crop they want to plant, then they plant crops.  After months of expensive watering the crops are ready to be harvested, but before then they often spend a lot on insecticides an regular treatments.  When its all over someone picks the fruit.  That last step is essential but hardly the hard part, and not were most of the money is spent.
 
Don't forget, right now if American farmers can't grow and sell produce cheap enough to beat what it costs to grow it in Mexico, farmers in Mexico, who employ the same laborers, win the competitive price war, and employ the same laborers.  Those laborers aren't  out of work, they just work more often in their own country.
Rusty Smith Added Feb 17, 2018 - 11:48am
Phil Greenough illegal immigrant workers are cheaper but they don't improve our standard of living when they harvest seasonal crops because they consume tax money all year long, usually for their entire family.  The only one that gets a GREAT deal is the farmer, who gets cheap labor from people he doesn't have to support for the rest of the year.
 
If the farmer makes a fortune, that doesn't help our economy if we the taxpayer have to subsidize his workers.  When that happens the real cost of your fruit is far higher than what you paid for it at the store.  I'd say the cost even includes the poor education your kids get in public school, in places where illegals abound because their kids consume half the school budget.
Phil Greenough Added Feb 17, 2018 - 11:03pm
Rusty;
The link you provided does not support your earlier assertion.  It also defies logic that a labor intensive industry is not affected by the cost of labor.  You do a great job of describing all the effort/cost involved in growing, sorting, storing and shipping strawberries.  Many of those tasks are performed by skilled farmers and other skilled professions.  A lot of that labor and effort goes away if strawberries can’t be picked cheaply. 
 
Allow me to make my point with another product...IPhones. The act of assembling Iphones is done outside the United States, because it’s labor intensive and Iphones are easily shipped.   However, Apple’s flock of skilled professions are mostly located in the United States.  If it wasn’t for the ability to manufacture their products cheaply, Apple wouldn’t be as competitive and those high-paying jobs would begin to disappear. 
 
As you can plainly see, our standard of living is higher thanks to companies that have access to cheap labor.  
Rusty Smith Added Feb 18, 2018 - 12:38pm
Phil Greenough I do question whether you really did dig into the statistics, and will challenge you to tell me the crop you picked and the percentage of increase you calculated when you tried to recreate my results.
 
I do business in China and have direct employees there, and know a bit about the advantages to my company, but your analogy doesn't support your argument.
 
You own IPhone example provides good reasons why we might want to keep the illegals in Mexico growing crops there at a cheaper price, and importing them just like we do with the IPhones.
 
With the IPhones in China, we don't subsidize those workers in any way, they do the job and get paid for the job.  
 
With produce we do subsidize illegals with copious amounts of tax money so what they get paid by the farmer is only a down payment.
Gerrilea Added Feb 19, 2018 - 3:07am
The standard of living isn't higher for the majority of the people, either working for a company or those living in the town, city , state its located in. The only one that benefits its the company owner, CEO, CFO, etc. 
 
Iphone workers are committing suicide to get out of slavery they've been forced into...
 
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2103798/Revealed-Inside-Apples-Chinese-sweatshop-factory-workers-paid-just-1-12-hour.html
 
Anyone buying those products are just as guilty as those companies that design, manufacture and sell them.
 
Here's what 1 Walmart does to your city or town:
https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/2405-real-cost-walmart.html
 
     "But this study shows that communities will be much worse off,
     with lower wages and less money in the community, after a 
     Walmart opens."
 
     The losses are tied mainly to the low wages Walmart pays its 
     employees."
 
     -cut-
 
     "...the presence of a Walmart and other big box stores breeds
     hate groups. That research, conducted by professors at Penn
     State University, New Mexico State University and Michigan
     State University, argues that local businesses are pillars of the
     community and promote civic engagement and foster 
     community values. When Walmart comes to town and puts
     those companies out of business, it creates a business vacuum
     which weakens the community's civic "backbone" and
    creates an atmosphere ripe for hate groups to form and gain
     power in the absence of strong leadership among local
     business owners and community leaders."
 
Any claims that cheap labor increases our standard of living is an illusion and propaganda pushed by the few that truly benefit from that race to the bottom, the top 1%.
 
If anyone claims otherwise, they're blowing smoke up your butt.
 
http://larouchepub.com/other/2003/3045walmart_iowa.html
 
http://www.scmp.com/magazines/post-magazine/article/1970431/true-cost-your-cheap-clothes-slave-wages-bangladesh-factory
 
https://cis.org/Report/High-Cost-Cheap-Labor
 
Phil Greenough Added Feb 19, 2018 - 8:02am
Rusty;
My bad, of course it’s true that depending on the type of fruit and machinery a particular farm may possess, labor isn’t that big a cost.  A situation like that has no bearing on this conversation.  We’re talking about situations where cheap labor is needed.  Besides, when margins are thin, a 10% rise in any cost can take a profitable operation and make it unprofitable. 
 
It’s your opinion that illegals cost more than they benefit society and my opinion is that they benefit society more than they cost.  However, let’s assume I agree with you, what happens next?  Will you forcibly round up all the illegals and put them on buses out of here?  Will you put their kids on the same bus or have foster families at the ready to care for them?  Or will you attempt to starve them by denying their access to work in hopes they’ll self-deport?  I figure we might as well let them work because I don’t see either scenario is being realistic.  Besides, their work clearly has some benefit, versus attaching them all to the teat of the state.  So I repeat, what happens next?
 
Gerrilea;
It’s one thing to be against illegal immigrant labor, quite another to be against free trade.  At least you justify your position on account of the belief that workers in other countries are slaves or mistreated terribly.  There is a mountain of evidence to support the fact these workers go to work willingly.  So I think your position is nothing more than a back-door way to be against free trade on account of America’s higher moral standards.  I also find your anti-corporation bias highly disappointing from a member of the right.  Isn’t it fascinating how at the extreme edges of both major parties, the rhetoric starts to sound the same?
Gerrilea Added Feb 19, 2018 - 9:07am
Phil-- Labels don't work for me, such as your: "member of the right".  I'm a conservative when it comes to money, I'm a pro-choice when it comes to life. I'm a constitutionalist when it comes to rights. Not the bastardized "3-co-equal branches" it's become. "Legislating from the bench" is pure treason. Argue the law, as written, not the consequences of negating a bad one. Don't read into anything.  If too vague....it's null and void.
 
I'm "liberal" when it comes to social issues. I'm against illegal immigration, break our laws, leave or be forced to.
 
I've never believed, constitutionally that "corporations" are or were imbued rights, they are created legal fiction that need to be regulated for safety and security and prosperity... I believe in free markets and free competition. Not the truly mislabeled propaganda that claims we are capitalists. No, it's "capitalism" for the riff-raff and socialism for corporations. 
 
If you make bad business decisions, pay the consequences. There is no such thing as "too big to fail".
 
It's at this point where minimum wage laws and "living wage laws" come in, alongside with the mantra of "undocumented workers".
 
Since, We The People, granted an organized group of men (generic) incorporation papers; that corporation must provide a service or similar that benefits all. The use of illegal immigration has been shown to destroy the wages of the host nation and lower their standard of living.  So much so, as stated previously, it destroyed my home town.
 
If you want to be a "corporation" pay for it by paying your workers a fair exchange for their labor, period.
 
As for "America's higher moral standards", once upon a time I believed in this nation, I believed the BS. Nope, not anymore.  We never had (or do have) moral superiority. 
 
Those "free trade agreements" are a result of not controlling corporations, they've bought and stolen every aspect of our government and wish to impose the same upon the rest of the world.
 
No thanks.
George N Romey Added Feb 19, 2018 - 11:23am
This quest for cheaper and cheaper labor has done nothing but turn America into the land of debt peonage. Americans try to hold onto the American Dream by working longer hours and going into debt.
 
I grew up with Depression era parents. Their ability to get a college education on a scholarship (mother) and GI bill (father) enabled us an upper middle income life. They had no mortgage or credit card debt. Their story is no longer.
 
Phil does zero research. He just spouts off theories in his head, for example illegal immigration is a plus when all evidence points otherwise. Maybe it’s that he desperately wants to be in the .01%.
 
One day all of this will economically destroy this country. Take away the unnatural low interest rates, endless money printing and debt along with hocus pocus government stats like the unemployment rate and GDP and we’d be 1932 all over again. 
Gerrilea Added Feb 19, 2018 - 11:52am
George, excellent points. The only difference between 1929-32 and today, Americans don't know how to grow, clean, store, cook their own food...in many places it's illegal to do so.
 
WHEN it all collapses, as planned, Americans will beg for their own enslavement, beg for their creation to save them and those that refuse will be executed.  It will take less than 90 days before millions of Americans start dying, at each others hands and then finally, at the hands of their government.
 
Our little experiment in self-rule, ended.
George N Romey Added Feb 19, 2018 - 1:32pm
You are right. In the 1930s people had land. My father’s family grew their own vegetables and fruits and even had chickens despite living in an urban area. 
Rusty Smith Added Feb 19, 2018 - 1:40pm
Phil Greenough you have just surprised me with a thoughtful reply,  and I am pleased to share my opinion regarding your question about where to go from here.
 
I don't favor an illegal roundup or think one is necessary, if jobs and tax payer subsidized benefits are no longer attracting them they will self deport.  Even if they don't it's not their presence here that hurts us, it's the fact that on average, they suck far more out of our economy than the give back.  They are expensive guests, but only as long as we continue to support them.
 
I would start mandating something like E-Verify to qualify everyone for all employment, and every benefit that costs someone other than them money, but would allow private sponsorship.  I wouldn't deny them something like a hospital visit if they couldn't pay for, but the next step would be deportation and I would not allow them to return until they paid off their debt.  Would expect the same in any other country if I needed their taxpayer support.
 
I would stop the interpretation of the amendment used to give citizenship to the children of slaves, to the children born in the US from people visiting or working here from another country.  They are not the same and the US would not be alone if we denied visiting people's children citizenship.  
 
I would develop a real guest worker program that focused on the needs of companies here.  Employers would be expected to pay for all the costs that result from their worker's stay in the US, including the educational and medical costs consumed by family members if they come here.  If I work in other most other countries no one there will pay for my kids education or medical care, and I think it should be the same here.
 
And yes, I'd build a real wall and patrol it.  None of this high tech garbage that can work great one minute and be ignored or non functional the next.  I don't know anyone that secures anyplace that's really important with cameras but no walls, or locks.
 
If it's not easy to get in, and there is no free stuff on this side, those who are here but shouldn't be will find a way to go home and if their children depend on them for their survival, they will go with them.
 
I do feel sorry for the dreamers, and those that signed up I'd let stay here because "they" didn't do anything wrong and if they want to stay knowing they can't bring their families here for more than a visit, I'd let them.
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