Comments about ‘Bill Maxwell: We need immigration law that will be fair to migrant workers’

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Published: Wednesday, July 25 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

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anti-liar
Salt Lake City, UT

Too bad Mr. Maxwell's sense of "moral responsibility" doesn't extend to paying American workers a fair wage. These employers don't want to do so. That really is what this is about. The rest is rationalization, and falsely disparaging the best workers in the world historically, Americans, in the process.

Ali999
Lansing, MI

The author claims that farmworkers are skilled, yet the average wage for such "skilled" labor is only $10.07 an hour, according to a 2009 USDA study. Moreover, the trend has been for the median income of farmworkers to fall far below the poverty level, $11,000 or less.

Fact is, farmers want cheap labor that they can stick the taxpayer with the bill for.

1conservative
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT

This article is so full of half-truths, false inferences, and outright fibbs that its' hard to know where to start to rebut the opinion expressed!

Americans WILL do seasonal labor (especially teens)but the farmers need to pay minimum wage, something the farmers are reluctant to do when they can hire illegal trespassers for half that.

70-80% of the LEGAL American public would like immigration laws to be enforced, so that can't be ALL "tea-partiers"! Most rank-and-file Demos. join with conservative groups (one of the few times they do)in asking for enforcement of immigration laws. They may have different reasons, but asking for enforcement is NOT an "R" or "D" issue!

I've often wondered: How would the author feel if HIS job was replaced with an illegal alien trespasser?

This may come as a shock to the author, but NOT ALL the illegal alien trespassers are working on farms.

Alfred
Salt Lake City, UT

The reason farm and other stoop-work jobs pay so poorly is because we continue to have a flood of immigrants who will work for almost nothing, depressing the wages for others. What needs to be done is to shut down labor immigration which will automatically raise wages for Americans. Farmers and other employers of cheap labor will have to get the work done or they go out of business.

And why do this? Because we have 15 million unemployed Americans sitting home playing video games for something to do... We also have about that many illegals taking Americans' jobs. The answer is very simple... cut down on the hiring of immigrants, both legal and illegal, at least until we can get our unemployment rate down. Result... our unemployment will plummet, our payouts for unemployment benefits will plummet, our tax revenues will rise. All good results.

We must get our immigrant situation under control or it will ruin us as a nation. Remember, a nation without borders is not a nation. It's just a bunch or real estate that everyone tromps across at will.

SLars
Provo, UT

I dislike the use of cliches and truisms also. And this is full of them. There is no mythical American/Protestant work ethic, work is determined by the person, not their heritage.

Draconian rules??? Ah yes, the open border cry of oppression over our current moderate laws that are more liberal than 99% of the world. Everything is Draconian except amnesty, right?

"average Americans lack the skills and toughness to do farm work" insulting Americans won't get you anywhere. I've worked in the fruit business. I got out because I could not compete with farmers that used illegal help. Some Americans were migrants also. Generation after generation that went from farm to farm. But the cheap labor drove them out.

The H-2a works, it's easy to fill out, and you only need to fill it out once for any number of workers. Farmers like the taxpayers to foot the bill with illegal labor. With the visa, they have to pay for medical and housing. Welfare for the 1%.

SLars
Provo, UT

Tampa bay times writer? really?

In 1979 testimony to Congress, Chavez complained, "... when the farm workers strike and their strike is successful, the employers go to Mexico and have unlimited, unrestricted use of illegal alien strikebreakers to break the strike. And, for over 30 years, the Immigration and Naturalization Service has looked the other way and assisted in the strikebreaking. I do not remember one single instance in 30 years where the Immigration service has removed strikebreakers. ... The employers use professional smugglers to recruit and transport human contraband across the Mexican border for the specific act of strikebreaking..."

They are destroying our labor market using American tax dollars.

RichardB
Murray, UT

Bill Maxwell was raised in a migrant American family. He knows Americans can do the work. It's interesting that a man who once worked for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, would go against it's leaders.

In 1969, Ralph Abernathy, whom alert readers will recognize as Martin Luther King's successor as head of the Southern Leadership Conference, along with Chavez actually led a march to the Mexican border to protest illegal immigration.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

SLars, Richard B,
don't tell la rasa (or whatever the hispanic advocacy group is called) that Chavez opposed illegal immigration - they won't know what to do with themselves.

And let's talk about Draconian rules, shall we? I used to live in Washington state, which has a large fruit industry that uses migrant workers, (most, I believe, were legal at the time). There were a number of orchard operators who saw their workers living out of cars or tents, so they built housing for them. The housing had running water and electricity, indoor plumbing, etc. They were safe, confortable, and warm, but was not up to every code and spec required for permanent residential housing. So some "migrant worker" advocates raised an issue and such housing was outlawed. The farmers could not afford to bring the housing up to the new requirements, so they had to shut them down and the workers went back to living in cars and tents. Please tell me how that benefited anyone.

Miss Piggie
Salt Lake City, UT

"We need immigration law that will be fair to migrant workers"

We don't need any immigrants. We have millions of unemployed Americans looking for work... and millions who have stopped looking. Immigrants just take up the work these unemployed should be taking. And don't say Am3ericans won't take these jobs because of low wages. Kick the immigrants out, who are depressing wages, and wages will rise. Employers will raise wages if there is a scarcity of wotkers.

That's how it all works. Letting immigrants in depresses wages and puts our workers on unemployment, sucking up billions of tax dollars in unemployment benefits. God help us!

WestGranger
West Valley City, Utah

Nation wide labor shortages would not exist if US teenagers and unemployed workers were willing to slave away in the hot sun all day for minimum wage.The current immigration system , in its effect, is not allowing temporary migrant workers to come to the USA legally. If Mexicans were able to come here legally, work for a season, and return home, they would certainly choose that option over the one that might include risking their lives in walking 150 miles in the hot sun in rough terrain, with inadequate provisions under the constant threat of violent attack.Things are very bad in Mexico. 50,000 dead in recent years on the border. Secure the border, but its time to come up with a more reasonable solution to "illegal alien" human beings who have been here for years.

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