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Doing the more sensible thing - like passing the DREAM Act - is something we just can't convince our elected officials in Washington DC to do; for the GOP, it doesn't resonate with their base as well as bumper-stick fodder like "get rid of the illegals."  The problem with that is, it's actually damaging to our economy and our farmers to do so.  So explains the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

...many farmers complained this year that Georgia’s new immigration enforcement law -- House Bill 87 -- has scared away the migrant Hispanic workers they depend on, putting their crops at risk. a result of the right-heavy Georgia General Assembly and Republican Governor ripping the band-aid off a wound.   Then there's this....

Researchers studied data from seven fruit and vegetable crops representing nearly half of the acreage available for harvest last spring. They tied an estimated $140 million in crop losses to a shortage of 5,244 farm laborers this year.

But wait; there's this from the anti-immigrant side:

Immigration watchdogs say they are sensitive to the farmers’ concerns. But they wonder whether farmers could attract more U.S. workers by boosting their pay and recruiting practices.

Well, yes, I suppose that's true; so when the price of fruits and vegetables go up at the market, will the right then complain about "too much government regulation" costing Americans at the checkout stand?

Then there's this thought: wouldn't it be cheaper to enforce existing laws on the employers, instead of trying to chase town 10-16 million illegals working and living within the United States' borders?  Wouldn't a path to citizenship and/or a "guest worker" program benefit everyone more?

And when you discuss this among your right-wing friends, and they go on about illegals living here and "not contributing," remind them that illegals DO contribute to the local and state tax base simply by renting a place to live, paying utilities and buying goods - property and sales taxes within those expenses.  

Originally posted to SouthernDemRon on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 03:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Kos Georgia.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (8+ / 0-)


    by SouthernDemRon on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 03:00:02 PM PDT

  •  There Are Currently Eight Different (0+ / 0-)

    Wouldn't a path to citizenship and/or a "guest worker" program benefit everyone more

    Guest worker programs in the U.S. I know there are many that are convinced that the answer to illegal immigration is to create yet another guest worker program ... it's not.

    Well, yes, I suppose that's true; so when the price of fruits and vegetables go up at the market

    At what point did being a Democrat mean trying to get out of paying the true cost of goods and services?

    At what point are you going to stop blaming the Republican Party for declining wages and a disappearing middle class while you at the same incessantly quest for more 'cheaper stuff'?

    I won't be coming home tonight, my generation will put it right - Genesis 9:3

    by superscalar on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 03:58:14 PM PDT

    •  Come with more, please... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "It's not." That's it?  That's all you have?  Please expound.

      The GOP uses the "illegal immigration" issue to whip up their xenophobic base; illegal immigrants are a burden on our health care, our local, state and federally subsidized programs, etc. and so on.

      You say "the answer...."  I ask , what's the "question?"

      I never said I wasn't for paying the "true cost of goods and services," though, did I?

      I merely ask, what happens when those prices go up?  You KNOW it'll be used against Democrats, currently residing in the White House and holding a Senate majority.  You think the GOP would let a plum campaign point lay unused?


      by SouthernDemRon on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 05:01:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I hope those farmers join the Democratic (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    party.  We're their only hope.

    My guess is, like Prohibition (been watching Ken Burns), this policy will turn out to be poorly considered and eventually overturned.

    If I were a farmer I would say to those politicians, "How 'bout you stop telling me to pay workers more when my margins are razor thin, and tell me what to do about these zillions of fucking rotten tomatoes!"

    I hate to say that I delight in farmer's and worker's misery, but these politicians deserve every minute of embarrassment and distress these draconian policies inflict upon them.

    I blog about my daughter with autism at her website

    by coquiero on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 04:15:38 PM PDT

  •  there are other collateral effects (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    worldlotus, SouthernDemRon

    as not all immigrants are unskilled labor or stoop labor.  It also affects professional and skilled craft classes.  These laws also cause a decrease in school enrollment.  There appears to be a plethora of bad effects for states enacting these laws.
    Now some on Kos have suggested that since the people involved merely move to another state, there is no overall bad effect for the nation but this POV ignores how such laws poison public discourse and how such laws are usually enacted by the states least able to afford the loss of school age population and of skilled workers  

  •  To add to the fubar, the darlin gov decided to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nuclear winter solstice

    use those newly released from jail to take the vanished workers place.  

    Spiffed it up with some type of job initiative meme & name.

    Ahem.  It actually takes skill & stamina to do this job.  
    Both of which clearly & severely were lacking in the news story I watched last spring/early summer.  Beings walked off the job, could not keep up & those that tried to keep up looked half dead long before lunch....

    I have not followed the farm angle since out of disgust-on many levels.

    Farm work is not the only job affected by the dear darlin gov.  Bless his heart, he probably helped bankrupt many a contractor as well.  

    Residential & commercial contractors that need skilled & reliable human beings to re-roof, re-model, re-build.  Who typically seem to prefer hiring Latinos-for their skill & reliability & work ethic.  At least in my neck of GA.

    But hey, it is not like GA had a 100 year flood happen.  Or hail.  Or tornados....  

    Yep.  Bless his little heart & all those he imitates & all those that voted em all in.

  •  "illegals" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nuclear winter solstice

    It's sad to see that this fascistic rightwing terminology has been adopted by the left, like other sneers before it.

    This is a terrible way to refer to folks whose only non-compliance with the law is crossing a frontier without authorization. Do you call every DUI convict an "illegal"?

    •  I don't see (0+ / 0-)

      a problem with the terminology, honestly.  It's a "short-hand" for illegal immigrant, which I think adeptly defines an immigrant living and working here illegally.  Doesn't mean I like the laws or the lack of a policy in place for currently illegal immigrants to have a path to citizenship; their continued existence within our borders and working is akin to an illegal activity, whether we agree with that or not.  Those are the laws on the books.

      If a drunk person is driving, they're doing so illegally.  Once convicted, they're no longer an illegal driver, are they?


      by SouthernDemRon on Wed Oct 05, 2011 at 11:27:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  People doing illegal things (0+ / 0-)

    I was confused about how I felt about the 'problem of illegal immigrants' until I heard Rep. Dennis Kucinich speak about the issue. He said that there is no such thing as an illegal person. Just people doing illegal things. And then he went on to say that many many people do illegal things: some people cheat on their taxes; some people smoke a toke. Some people drink more than they think and then drive. Others just drive too fast sober... some people take advantage of others in need by paying them a pittance to do a dangerous job while also flaunting the nation's employment laws. Some people, he said, follow after where the work is, in order to provide for their families, even if it means disregarding the particular laws that apply to their situation. Which of these is no longer legally a person?

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