Over the next couple of weeks, we are going to see a steady stream of Democrats, Rinos and Leftist Pundits who are going to claim that President Trump’s proposed “Raise” act is nothing more than racist, xenophobic pandering to his white supremacist base. Of course, their allies in the mainstream media will not only refuse to challenge these outlandish assertions, but most likely jampack their coverage with more of the same Leftist propaganda to lend credibility to those arguments instead. As I predicted last night in “Cosmopolitan Bias – Leftist Refusal to Face the Facts on Immigration” the Left will begin with the same argument that they always use, which is, if we cut back on immigration (either legal or illegal) then we will have millions of jobs going undone in our country and the economy would suffer. It did not take long for the Left to act exactly as anticipated with Senator Dianne Feinstein running straight to Wolf Blitzer and CNN to trout out this tired old argument in favor of unrestrained and uncontrolled migration.
“We’re the largest agricultural producer in America. It’s a $50 billion industry. We employ tens of thousands of agricultural workers. They are among a class that this would be prohibited. It would cripple agriculture if they didn’t have the people coming in to do this work. And what we have found is Americans will not do this kind of stoop labor in 100-degree temperatures. So, you would have a severe crippling of the largest ag industry in America, also in other areas.”
Wow Senator Feinstein you certainly make a compelling case… if only she had not misrepresented the facts. Her position is that trimming back the amount of immigration would cripple the agricultural industry, but per the US Department of Agriculture, “The average number of hired farmworkers has steadily declined over the last century, from roughly 3.4 million to just over 1 million.” This number has held steady over the last decade thanks in large part to modernization and automation which has allowed a very small percentage of the overall workforce to be required to provide food to a growing population. The same study also revealed that the foreign-born only made up 42% of all hired farm workers. This immediately debunks the lie that migrants are coming to America to do the jobs Americans will not do, because 58% of the workers are Americans.
They are correct in that there are many Americans that would not perform some of these jobs for the wages that are currently being paid. However, if the flow of low skilled labor was scaled back we would see a natural rise in the wage for those positions as demand to fill those positions rose and the pool of available labor to fill those positions shrank. Wait… wouldn’t these increase costs to growers increase the costs of the goods that we buy? In those crops that require manual picking we certainly would see price increases while the crops that have a heavy reliance on technology to harvest them would remain relatively unchanged. In the end paying a higher upfront cost for some of these crops is a better deal for Americans. Not only will we increased the wages fairly for a sector of our workers without a government mandate to do so, but without the lie to drive the massive influx of migration we ultimately save money and increase the quality of the government services that Americans rely upon which could be passed unto the citizens in tax cuts… which ultimately offsets those higher costs. (Recap for those playing along at home. Pay more for avocados in store, save money in taxes, and increase in quality of provided services like better teacher to student ratios.)
So, if the agricultural workforce is such a small population what then are the thousands of migrants (legal and illegal) doing for work? If we use a Pew Research study on the share of “unauthorized migrants” by industry as a guide, we see that 63% end up finding work in Service, Construction and Extraction, Production, installation and repair industries. Despite Feinstein’s predictions of doom and gloom only 4% of all illegal aliens end up working in the agricultural industry. In each of those categories there are many blue-collar jobs that would provide American families a living wage and a pathway to higher paying skilled jobs… if Americans did not have to compete against a continuous influx of lower wage workers.
I would like to end with a very interesting exchange where Blitzer asks, “The White House, Stephen Miller and the president, they kept referring to the fact that this new immigration policy would help African-Americans and Hispanic workers who are here in the United States. Do you accept that?” Feinstein’s response is very telling when she says, “Well, I can’t, I don’t see how candidly.” Her response is born out of either deception or ignorance. The Trump administration argument for helping American minorities is based on the fundamental underpinning of our entire economic system, supply and demand. Our economy will always work best when job creation and population growth remain in relative balance. When we continue to import low skill labor at such extreme rates then we reach a saturation point where the pool of available labor has far outpaced the jobs available and wages are artificially suppressed. Whereas Democrats are arguing for more unrestrained immigration and government wage mandates; I would argue that right sizing immigration and allowing market forces to adjust the wages ultimately is a better deal for Americans.