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Published: Wednesday, June 15 2011 11:20 p.m. MDT

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tenx
Santa Clara, UT

There are two groups which I am very suspicious of. 1) The "conservative" Sutherland Institute and 2) The ACLU. When they are on the same side it is time to run for cover.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

"The reality is that this entire debate would be largely irrelevant if American workers would do the sort of work that immigrants do,"

like drywall and construction? you mean legal residents won't do those jobs?

according the US Bureau of Labor, there are nearly 2 million fewer jobs today than when BO signed his porkulus. We have fewer jobs and don't need illegals coming in, stealing what jobs exist, and expatriating their earnings.

Craig
Salt Lake City, UT

With all the millions of people unemloyed right now the last thing we need isa quest worker program. There is no legal job that is below an unemployed American. It is racist to imply that some jobs are only for Mexicans.

E. Matscheko
St. George, UT

With thousands of Utahns unemployed, do we really need a guest worker program? Let's first, find work for Utahns and secure our nations borders and then focus on a guest worker program for documented aliens married to US citizens.

fowersjl
Farmington, Utah

These hate-filled comments make me sad.

Jazz Bass Man
Wellsville, Utah

If greedy employers had to cease hiring illegals from south of the border, and play on a fair playing field, then maybe my teenage sons could find jobs doign the same type of entry level jobs that the rest of us used to work when we were teens. This is how it's been done for the entire history of our country. Utah does not "need" illegals to do these jobs, we need to put our kids and out of work adults back to work. How is granting a guest worker program (amnesty) fair to real immigrants who are going to such lengths to play by the rules and gain citizenship legally? This is really about letting a group of people who are of the right skin color (La Raza) butt in line in front of the rest of the world's poor would-be immigrants, all because they managed to hop the border illegally, and it's not right.

The Sutherland institute is not "conservative" in any estimation of the word, if they go to such lengths to promote amnesty for illegals. It's time to throw HB116 into the trash where it belongs.

Al
Vernal, UT

I am a republican delegate and will be at the convention. I will not post here which way I will vote.

I will say that since I was appointed as an alternate, I have received many emails and letters trying to influence my vote on this topic. Some have been respectful, but most have not. Some, including from leadership, have been threatening and full of vitriol (like most of these posts).

If you have something to say, say it; but you don't have to resort to name-calling or belittling people who see things differently. It seems that anyone who differs in any way from a point of view is a RINO. If that is the case, then everyone except the person themself is a RINO.

Argue points on merit (and there is a lot of merit to these arguments) but don't start name-calling and belittling those who disagree. What makes you so superior to them that you can talk down to them?

I think that we republicans win on the merits of our arguments, let the democrats call names and belittle, it's what they do best.

gizmo33
St. George, Utah

just one question.... whos gonna go out -n- pick all them fruits and veggies ? ... lets see if they have to pay you minimum wage of 7.25 an hour I figure a head of lettuce should cost you about $9.00 and apples should be around $11.00 a pound eh ?

Viva la Migra
American Fork, UT

I wish the Sutherland Institute would quit using the tired, old argument that all jobs worked by (illegal) immigrants are jobs that Americans won't do. This may be true of some of the agriculture jobs, since they low pay and long hours would make it impossible for a U.S. adult to support himself, let alone a family.

When I was growing up me and most of my friends worked in agriculture from the age of 12..16, some of them continued to do so through college to help with their expenses. These are perfect jobs for young unskilled workers who ant some responsibility and a chance to earn some extra money.

This is why illegal and legal immigrants who permanently live here (with their families) started moving on into other areas which pay more than agriculture: painting, landscaping, construction. It may also explain why 90% of the children born to Latino immigrants (legal and illegal) receive WIC/medicare assistance (according to La Raza).

There are plenty of examples of illegal aliens holding good paying jobs that an American would want. Like the deported branch president working at a charter school, or the Alaskan Police officer.

H. Bob
Salt Lake City, UT

It's funny to read all these comments from (I'd guess) staunch conservatives who apparently don't understand that the labor market that employs undocumented workers is the exact definition of an unregulated free market.
Those workers ARE doing "work that Americans won't do," or more accurately, work that Americans won't do for the pay the bosses are offering. Apparently it's possible to work for that wage and still feed yourself and your family; it's also apparent that many Americans don't agree, and won't work for the wage that the market has established.
So which shall it be? A truly unregulated free market where labor costs are set at whatever the market will bear, and workers come from any- and everywhere, or a regulated market where only documented workers are allowed, labor costs and the price of goods goes up?

Viva la Migra
American Fork, UT

re gizmo:

Starting at the age of 12 our school district had a program which allowed middle school age kids to work for a few weeks in the summer on Strawberry farms. Every morning a bus would come and pick us up and we would go out and work for a few hours picking berries.

After filling a flat, we would take it up to be weighed and they would punch a card to track the pounds picked. At the end of the season, we would turn our cards in get would be paid $0.10 / pound.

If you worked hard, you could maybe pick 100 lbs per day, which worked out to be about $150 for the entire season, which was less than $2 an hour.

Last time I checked a grocery store, strawberries cost much more than 10 cents a pound. The labor cost is just a fraction of the overall cost of produce, so doubling or even tripling the wages is not going to double/triple the final cost of the product.

Hunt
Spanish Fork, UT

@gizmo33 | 8:58 a.m. June 16, 2011

To not know the answer to that question is to admit that you haven't been paying attention.

There are existing federal programs on the books that allow for migrant worker help, H-2A and H-2B. Praxis in an earlier post did an excellent job explaining them. These programs are not being used because farmers can hire illegals at lower cost. Farmers trying to do it the right way cannot stay competitive so they too begin hiring illegals. The end result is that all farmers hire illegals and no one is using the legal methods.

It has also been shown that paying a higher wage will have very little overall effect on the price of all those fruits and veggies.

wjalden
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Note that there is no attempt in this article to offer an alternate point of view, which the News would've inisted upon if this had been a statement by UFIRE or one of our state's other pro-enforcement organizations.

It's bascially a press release/opinion piece masquerading as news, which is the main reason I no longer subscribe to the News and seldom bother to read it at all. With every open borders hit piece, the News's reputation and credibility diminishes.

Hunt
Spanish Fork, UT

@H. Bob | 10:33 a.m. June 16, 2011

"Apparently it's possible to work for that wage and still feed yourself and your family; it's also apparent that many Americans don't agree, and won't work for the wage that the market has established."

Refer to my previous post at 10:44 a.m as to why the wage is so low.

As to your point about making enough to feed their family, it is not possible for many if not most illegals to feed themselves and their families off the wages they earn. This is why illegals utilize their American born kids to obtain food stamps from the government.

The fun part here is that enough food stamps are supplied to feed everyone in the household, including the illegals. And for those illegals being paid under the table, why buy your own food when you can show zero income and partake in the welfare program of your choice?

Of course less than ethical employers know this and are more than willing to let the tax payer pick up the cost as they pad their wallets.

H. Bob
Salt Lake City, UT

@Hunt:

There's also documented evidence that Walmart's business plan involves paying employees so low a wage that they'll have to take advantage of the welfare system as well. All I'm saying is that this is the unregulated free market at work. Undocumented workers have figured out a way to make a living (including working the system) in that market. Walmart has figured out a way to make money in that market, too. All this really boils down to is who's ox is being gored--there are obviously Americans who would like to work but won't accept what the market's offering. Should we regulate the market to their advantage or not?

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

fowersjl,

because we don't agree with you, we're hate-filled?

Giszmo33

recent Washingtonpost article detailed the cost to an apple orchard that was using illegal immigrants, was caught by ICE, and now uses legal immigrants through existing gov't programs - guess what? Apples DON'T cost $11 per pound.

WJalden,
yes, a number of posts talk about the existing programs established to fascilitate the import of legal immigrants for seasonal labor. Alternatives ARE being offered.

mkSdd3
Ogden, UT

Throw HB116 out and force employers to use current federal programs, verify workers, and apply for work visas. No other legislation is needed.

I would like those that favor creating new laws to explain to me why the current laws are not sufficient. I understand that businesses are ignoring current laws. I chalk that up to greed. Businesses can make more money by paying illegals under the table. But explain to me how HB116 will be any more relevant than current laws.

This whole issue is caused by greedy businessmen that want to line their pockets with gold they get by essentially using slave labor. The only thing that is responsible and moral is to follow current laws. If those laws need to be tweaked, make a case for it and lets have a discussion.

WhatsGoingOnHere
Ogden, UT

Please stop the insanity.

Employers are going around current rules so they can make more money. Our response is to make it even easier for illegals to come here and take even more jobs.

US citizens are being hurt and foreigners are the ones that are benefiting. That is totally upside down. This is completely self destructive behavior. That in my book is insane.

Fitness Freak
Salt Lake City, UT

"hbob"

Lets take your argument one step further; why shouldn't WE be allowed to bring ALL OTHER professions here from latin america to take jobs?

Is it o.k. if we bring DRS. lawyers, engineers, etc.? Just because those are licensed occupations, why can't the "free market" decide. If they are not adequately trained won't the market simply weed them out?

WHY is it o.k. to displace workers at the lower end of the pay scale, but NOT at the upper end?

Just because a worker does construction or landscape maintenance shouldn't mean he doesn't have at least SOME protections from unfair competition.

SLars
Provo, UT

Agriculture visas are unlimited. We don't need guest workers for agriculture. We have an unlimited supply.

Breaking the law is not free market. Forcing American citizens to subsidize illegal workers is not free market, it's welfare.

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