I understand that illegal immigration is — well — illegal. There is no getting around this issue.
I have problems with America’s immigration policy from border security to enforcement of municipal labor laws. I have major problems with large corporations who hire illegal immigrants. The corporate-run media conglomerates tell me there are jobs that Americans just won’t do and we need low-cost laborers to pick our produce, clean our hotel rooms, and cut my grass. Frankly, they are right. As an American citizen, I would not work on a farm unless I earned a decent wage, was offered health insurance, and found the work rewarding.
On the other hand, I might work on a farm and ‘pick produce’ if I had a horrible life in Mexico, I needed money to feed my family, and I found a way to sneak over the border and come to America to pursue better opportunities.
It’s all about motivation.
As an American citizen and a consumer, I would gladly pay more for fruit, a hotel room, or yard work if I knew that the workers were legal, protected under OSHA laws, offered benefits, and paid a living wage. America desperately needs innovation in the workforce in general, but the discussion on illegal immigration should start with an honest conversation about greed. It’s a discussion that should include a frank conversation about corporate profits, large-scale corporate farming, escalating administrative costs, and the appropriate management of shareholder expectations.
There is no easy answer, but I wonder what we could do differently if the government partnered with corporations and unions to structure the workforce in a more thoughtful way?