Sep 252010

Illegal immigration is a huge problem in the United States.  Crime, disease, terrorism, declining wages for Americans and the breakdown of social infrastructure like schools and hospitals are increasingly serious concerns.

However, the media and the Congress are attempting to leverage one issue where many people have sympathy for the influx of illegal aliens: the plight of migrant farm workers.

Perhaps Americans have forgotten, but migrant farm workers used to come from our own country.  My mother and her family would travel all over the country to work on farms to pick cotton, strawberries, tomatoes, watermelons, peppers or whatever crop was in season.

My mother, now in her late seventies and who is half Apache and half Cherokee, often recounts stories of working in the fields.

Americans are willing to work hard; Americans set the world’s standard for hard work.  The problem is that in many areas of the country the wages have been severely undermined by waves of illegal immigrants who hail from the impoverished regions of Third World countries and who require much lower pay than Americans, partially because few of them pay any taxes.

In other words, illegal immigration has destroyed the job market for Americans seeking employment as farm laborers.

The meat packing industry has been even more seriously hit.  A few decades ago, many jobs in the meat packing industry paid over twenty dollars per hour.  Since the floodgates have opened to illegal immigration, jobs in the meat packing industry barely creep over minimum wage and working conditions are now much worse, almost certainly explaining the exploding rates of food borne illnesses.

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