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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

LIKE IMPORTED OIL? YOU'RE GOING TO LOVE DEPENDING ON IMPORTED FOOD

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The antis will tell you that if we could only get rid of cheap foreign workers, Americans would be lining up to take the jobs. An article this past week in the Wall Street Journal shows a different reality. The piece focuses on the dairy industry which is completely dependent on immigrant labor even in a major recession. And dairy is pretty similar to other agricultural fields. US workers are simply not desperate enough to take on these physically demanding jobs in remote rural locations.

The antis response is usually the same - if these employers just paid more, then US workers would take the positions. And to some degree that's true. The problem is that it assumes that US farmers have the ability to absorb that expense either by cutting profits or raising prices. Unfortunately, there is another option on the table - importing the food in order to keep costs low for consumers. No doubt antis would suggest throwing up trade barriers to stop this, but that will drive up the costs for Americans to feed themselves - something that will be a non-starter.

If you think depending on other countries to meet our energy needs puts the US in a vulnerable position, it's hard to see how depending on other countries just to eat could be much better.

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  1. George Chell's Avatar
    Interesting I found folks from Center for Immigration Studies shopping at a neighborhood store run in Arlington VA last week, run by a Korean Immigrant stocked with products from abroad. They were complaining that products in Harris Teeter (picked by Americans) being too expensive!
  2. George Chell's Avatar
    "No doubt antis would suggest throwing up trade barriers to stop this, but that will drive up the costs for Americans to feed themselves - something that will be a non-starter."

    Illegal under treaties America has signed including Free Trade Agreements.
  3. George Chell's Avatar
    One more thing. If I were from Asia, and if the antis want to put trade barriers, this is waht I will say: Please pay up the trillion dollar debt that you owe us, as soon as you can. Because if you dont and you erect trade barriers, you and the antis at CIS and FAIR will need your second amendment rights to hunt for a living...literally! In other words, beggars cannot be choosers!
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