Archive for July 11th, 2010

by jhwygirl

Immigration is all the rage on morning talk shows, which I didn’t miss (thankfully) this week because the marathoners (God Bless ’em) have been running on by since somewhere around 6:45 this morning.

Aside from what I think is completely misdirected energy by anyone wanting every illegal immigrant rounded up and deported…I’m wonder why these so-called reformers (rounding up and deporting everyone isn’t reform) are making this Obama’s issue – and why Obama is kowtowing to it.

Maybe we should have gotten better health care reform. Maybe we should be getting better finance reform.

Just off the top of my head, you know?

I hit this a little in this weekend’s open thread, and I think that the Take Our Jobs campaign from the UFW is ingenious.

How many real jobs are immigrants taking from Americans? Jobs that Americans want? Jobs that Americans can actually do? I mean – how much do you want to pay for a head of lettuce? $5? $7? How would that work for everyone?

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away the federal government swooped into a little tourist town that garners an estimated 75,000 people a day stopping on by – sleeping, eating, drinking and doing the general thing that tourists do when they are on vacation. And the federal government rounded up all the undocumented workers (the dishwashers, the prep cooks, the housekeepers, the sanitation personnel). They separated families, leaving children without parents – in some cases, both – in other cases a father or a mother.

In this galaxy there were plenty of jobs to go around – and the while the undocumented workers were happy to be doing the general grunt work cleaning up of these 75,000 tourists each day (along with the 6,000 or so residents who were well paid for the better jobs such as line cooks, clerks, maintenance and general administration for the USFS, and the state and local government jobs), this round up by the federal government put the economy is a real lurch.

It left hotel owners with no one to clean rooms – see, the owners and the Americans had the cushy jobs of supervising these undocumented workers. It left the restaurateurs with no one to wash the dishes or mop up the restaurant.

What happen to the tourists? Their $175-a-night rooms weren’t ready even at 8:00 at night. It took hours during peak dining times to get food because pots and pans and plates and silverware weren’t getting cleaned fast enough. Owners and their legal employees had to work all through the night to get half-assed work done.

What else did they do? What else could they do – they put out a call for other galaxy residents to take on second and third jobs. They had to get through tourist season, after all. It’s when their money is made.

What did this American do? I helped. At a cost, of course – I mean, who in the hell wants to work two jobs when my first job was paying me plenty and I lived in such a galaxy that was attractive enough for 75,000 tourists a day to stop by? I wanted to enjoy that too – but I was sympathetic to the pains of my fellow galaxy residents….and I did what other Americans were doing. I gave up some of my precious time off in this attractive oasis and went to work. For a price.

What was I worth, with the owners in such a lurch? In the hotels I was worth $60 an hour. Cash, because they didn’t have the time to document my work. In many ways it was worth it to just walk in the door whenever I wanted (if I wanted) and work for however long I wanted and have them gratefully pay me that kind of money. Three hours and I had $180 in my pocket but I couldn’t head to the Cowboy Bar to spend it because they didn’t have enough staff and service sucked?

Moral: Profit went down for those owners. Americans don’t work cheap. Tourists will only pay so much for a hotel room, and they’ll only pay so much for a meal. When service sucks, tourists tip less. Waiters, waitresses and everyone who shared in these tips made less, but had to work more. Americans don’t like to work back-breaking jobs and they don’t like to work a second or a third like a lot of those undocumented immigrants were more than happy to do. If they do do those back-breaking kind of jobs, they want a lot of money.

The Obama Administration is now having the Immigration and Customs Service “sweep” companies that hire undocumented workers and having them all fired. They aren’t being deported, and this has the so-called reformers mad.

George Bush Jr. could have done this. He didn’t. He also could have done this and deported them. He didn’t.

Yet Obama is evil because he’s not doing anything about illegal immigration.

Arizona’s Governor Jan Brewer is lying – yep, I’m using the L word – and the WaPo’s is justifiably calling her out on it. Crime is down in Arizona, and there are more border guards then ever before.

When people talk about “wedge issues” this is one if I ever saw one. Sen. Tester periodically puts out a whine for more border guards to protect our northern border – much of which is just vast waterless grass and badland coulee rutted landscape – just to keep himself on the Montana conservative credibility range.

So now Obama isn’t doing anything. Or enough. With the whole budget deficit and everyone so concerned with the mounting deficit, now the “reformers’ want to whine about not busing all these illegal immigrants across the border?

Undocumented workers aren’t taking our jobs. They are, though, costing Americans a lot of money – in increased border patrols, forensic accounting of farms to find ’em, and soon – if these “reformers” don’t shut up – buses back to Mexico or Canada or wherever they came from.

Oh – and $7 lettuce.

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