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  1. #1
    Senior Member concernedmother's Avatar
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    Mar 2006

    Business reps: Labor Force will suffer if House bill passes

    Business reps: Labor force will suffer if House bill passes

    By: PATRICK WRIGHT - Staff Writer

    SAN DIEGO ---- Americans need to think of illegal immigrants as economic contributors and not law breakers, said five advocates for immigration reform Monday.

    The five advocates, including a farming advocate and a U.S. Chamber of Commerce director, spoke during a press conference in response to a hearing held by the U.S. House Government Reform Committee. The Republican-led committee met Monday in San Diego to discuss the costs of illegal immigration to San Diego County's educational, health and legal systems.

    Viewed in an economic sense, the advocates said, the loss of a labor force made up largely of illegal immigrants could cripple the nation's agricultural and other industries.

    "Immigrants, legal or not, are woven deeply in the fabric of our society and economy," said Dick Castner, executive director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's western office. "If they were to disappear, the impact would be significant."

    The five representatives spoke to promote action on immigration reform at the event sponsored by People for the American Way, a 900,000-member organization based in Washington, D.C., dedicated to countering conservative publicity. The group held the press conference to show that illegal immigrants contribute as much to society as they cost, if not more.

    Several members quoted a recent Pew Hispanic Center report that discussed the importance of workers, including illegal immigrants, to fields other than agriculture, such as construction and hospitality.

    Opponents of illegal immigration say illegal immigrants use American facilities, such as schools and hospitals, without paying income tax, and that helping illegal residents become citizens promotes law-breaking.

    Luawanna Hallstrom, a board member for the Western Growers Association and California Farm Bureau, said it was wrong to say illegal immigrants don't contribute to American society because they don't pay income taxes. She said illegal immigrants pay several taxes, from sales taxes to property taxes.

    "These people never see anything from that money," she said. "We haven't given them the legal means to participate."

    Dan Siciliano, executive director of the Law, Economics & Business program at Stanford Law School, said something had to be done to meet future U.S. labor needs. He said retiring baby boomers and a national birth rate under two per American female are going to strain the U.S. work force and make it difficult to sustain economic growth.

    The advocates supported the recent U.S. Senate bill, passed in May, that includes a temporary work program and more access to citizenship for illegal immigrants. They preferred that bill over a U.S. House bill, passed in December, that calls for a crackdown on immigration enforcement.

    Contact staff writer Patrick Wright at (760) 739-6675 or e-mail:

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    Comments On This Story

    Note: Comments reflect the views of readers and not necessarily those of the North County Times or its staff.
    CC wrote on August 14, 2006 11:53 PM:"We're in no danger of losing our work force even if the House bill passes. Why? Because the government could enforce the current laws now if they chose to do so. Eisenhower did and it didn't require any special congressional action. A study done back in 1950 by the President's Commission on Migratory Labor in Texas found that illegal alien cotton workers in Rio Grande Valley were paid approximately half the wages paid legal workers elsewhere in Texas. This is not about supplying us with enough workers. This is about forcing American wages down. And, that is why big business supports it. "

    El Guero wrote on August 15, 2006 4:23 AM:"The only entity missing from this pack of swine is the Catholic Church. If they insist that illegal immigrants 'contribute' more to the economy than they cost, why don't they pass the hat and pledge to cover the costs of K-12 education, hospitalization, health care, and incarceration that fall on our local communities, instead of leaving it to taxpayers? Economic arguments (that they can't win) aside, these rogues completely reject the idea of sovereignty: that the citizens of a nation have the right to decide who may enter their country and how. Even if it could be proven that these illegal immigrants were a boon to the economy (note; one might ask, 'who's' economy?) who decides that we should admit this particular group of immigrants from Mexico at the expense of other desperately poor would-be immigrants from other parts of the world? Doesn't this nation stand for equal rights and equal opportunity? Or is that stuff just for the history books?"

    Vista Taxpayer wrote on August 15, 2006 5:31 AM:"So once again NCT has written a story that supports the illegals over finding a solution that is just for all, such as allowing those that have been obeying the law by waiting a way into the country. A guest worker program may work BUT someone has to be held responsible for the cost of the illegals on the tax payers and nobody wants to address who that should be. Of course, the upspoken answer is that the burden remains on the taxpayers to absorb the cost so the farmers and company owners can continue to make their money on the cheap labor! The good old NCT, what should we expect!"

    Patty wrote on August 15, 2006 6:57 AM:"These "five advocates for immigration reform" have no clue as to the impact of Illegal immigration because they don't have 25 people living, with 15 cars parked, across the street from them. These "advocates" would be the first to get rid of them if this were the case. Quietly of course. "

    they're illegal wrote on August 15, 2006 7:09 AM:"get in line. Every body wants free social services. I'll pay .50 more for lettuce and watch my taxes go down for the govenment not having to subsidize all the food stamp and housing programs. What is the total budget spent on foodstamps? Everytime I'm in the store, many people whip them out like cash with no look of shame-six kids in tow, buying twinkies, soda and other junk. "

    get a grip wrote on August 15, 2006 8:18 AM:"Get a grip, Vista Taxpayer. There is a whole nother story on this site today about the costs of illegal immigration. "

    HMM.. wrote on August 15, 2006 8:25 AM:"5 whole people!!?? Wow.. open the borders now! We should all take Spanish classes and become socialists to prepare for our unskilled, illiterate workforce that contributes sooo much to our society!!"

    Daren wrote on August 15, 2006 8:43 AM:"Get the machines into the fields to pick the crops. I'll gladly pay extra for my produce. Get the inmates from the prisons out there to do the harvesting. Force the agricultural industry to pay their workers fair wages and many more people will do the work the criminal illegals are doing. I'm willing to face some hardships if it meant removing the criminal illegals from this country."

    C.A. Jones wrote on August 15, 2006 9:00 AM:" Evidently illegal non-citizen immigrants mean money in the pockets of the five men advocates for immigration reform. Have you noticed that usually it is only those people who will profit from the illegal and criminal actives of the illegal non-citizen immigrants that stand up and speak for them. I am not impressed. "

    illegal wrote on August 15, 2006 10:05 AM:"Americans need to think of illegal immigrants as economic contributors and not law breakers"

    WeaponsOfMassExpression wrote on August 15, 2006 10:11 AM:"There are two sides to this coin. On the one side, our high school drop out rate is exploding while the number of students who are high school graduates do not continue on to college increases. On the other side, we have business who would rather hire illegals to save on the taxes, social security and medicare that they would pay hiring a citizen. Who do you think is going to be competing with the illegals for all of those jobs in hospitality, restaurants and the construction trades? Of course, those used to be jobs held by high school and college students working their way through school, part-time moms and unskilled labor. But the trades used to be held by middle class, taxpaying citizens who earned a decent living. But all of these jobs used to generate tax dollars because citizens must pay taxes. Now these businesses pad their profits, reward their shareholders and pay their CEO's obsenely. Big Ag would have us believe that if they lose their cheap labor, produce would sky rocket. Doubtful, it is called globalization. Latin American countries pay their farm workers pennies an hour to pick produce and are waiting in the wings to flood the market with their cheap produce once the NAFTA superhighway is complete. The statement that we need illegal workforce to sustain economic growth is ridiculous. Most baby boomers either lost their pensions or haven't saved enough to consider retiring. They cannot take early retirement without receiving their full social security benefit which means they will be in the workforce at least until they reach 67 1/2. And they will be working jobs that will sustain, rather than drain the economy. "

    mark wrote on August 15, 2006 11:54 AM:"I so sick of hearing farm owners whine about how they will go out of business without illegal workers. I guess if they owned auto body shops they'd cry that they can't compete without stolen parts! Illegals pay sales taxes and get nothing for it?????? Stop smoking crack lady. They clog our highways, schools, prisons, and emergency rooms. Just what does it cost to police all the ridiculous gang activity. Once comfortable working class neighborhoods, close in to employment centers have become third world hell holes so that Americans have to commute two hours a day from hot dusty desert communities just to have a safe decent place to buy a home. Not to mention schools where their non-Spanish speaking children will be taught in English. $5 a head lettuce would be cheaper!!! "

    lance s wrote on August 15, 2006 12:03 PM:"Mr. Siciliano (appropriate name) is worried about not having economic growth if the labor force doesn't grow. Personally, I think most people would oppose economic growth when it comes at the expense of a lower standard of living. Sure, the GDP will be a little bit bigger if we have open borders. And the vast majority of Americans will be living in poverty. Bad tradeoff, really bad tradeoff. The civil war that will be triggered by the anarchist policies of the open borders wackos is also a factor to consider. American workers are not going to sit idly by while the ruling class cuts them off at the kneecaps economically."

    lance wrote on August 15, 2006 12:04 PM:" Mr. Siciliano (appropriate name) is worried about not having economic growth if the labor force doesn't grow. Personally, I think most people would oppose economic growth when it comes at the expense of a lower standard of living. Sure, the GDP will be a little bit bigger if we have open borders. And the vast majority of Americans will be living in poverty. Bad tradeoff, really bad tradeoff. The civil war that will be triggered by the anarchist policies of the open borders wackos is also a factor to consider. American workers are not going to sit idly by while the ruling class cuts them off at the kneecaps economically."

    a suggestion... wrote on August 15, 2006 1:52 PM:"ASK at your local super market WHERE the avocados are from, the strawberries. I refuse to buy any produce from Mexico, even if I AM craving Mangos and they are all from Mexico. I do without. There are lots of small ways to rebel against NAFTA and I also tell the produce people WHY I am asking."

    Tina wrote on August 15, 2006 4:28 PM:"I have no idea what is wrong with helping illegals(mark who wrote on Aug.15,2006) there are only a hand full of "BAD SEEDS". just because you have had bad experiences with some of them doesn't mean they are all like that. take for example: my husband. he is very kind, very hard working, a great provider for me and our 3 children, pays his taxes, and never has been in trouble with the law. and this is true of almost every illegal person i know. yes! i am in the process of helping him become legal but we can not finish the process until narrow minded people like you open their eyes and look beyond their hatred. after all almost all of these illegal immigrants just want to give their families a lifestyle that they know they could never provide in their own countries...."

    Korean-American lady wrote on August 15, 2006 6:40 PM:"I dont see how the house bill would ever endanger our ecconomy by getting rid of the illegal aliens and getting rid of anything that would induce them to stay in this country, there are plenty of legal citizens that are out of work, high school students, and etc that would have no problems working out in the fields, construction and etc. if the employers would pay a fair wage, I for one would pay an extra few cents for produce, meats and etc if it meant getting rid of the illegals that are making this the United States look like TJ"

    fedup wrote on August 15, 2006 6:52 PM:"To "Tina" the only problem helping ILLEGALS is that you have now become an accomplice to a crime. Just like the five advocates, you seem to miss the fact that ILLEGALS are nothing more than what they are called, ILLEGALS. If you want to help your husband become legal, have him leave the country and return to wherever he came from, apply to get in LEGALLY, and then resume your happy little life."

    To Tina wrote on August 15, 2006 7:28 PM:"What is it you don't understand about Illegal? Legal immigrants went through the process, why doesn't your husband? What makes him more deserving than the thousands waiting in line? What taxes does he pay if he is illegal? So, cheating, lying, and ignoring immigration laws is what your children are learning? It is not hatred, it is fairness, law and not having foreigners steal their way into our country at OTHERS expense! "
    <div>"True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else."
    - Clarence Darrow</div>

  2. #2
    MW is offline
    Senior Member MW's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
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    I've learned to completely ignore anything and everything corporate America representatives and their lobbyist have to say on the issue of illegal immigration. They only have one agenda in mind - that is the continuous use of cheap labor. Of course it is only cheap for them, the rest of us are stuck subsidizing that so-called cheap labor, which means it is only cheap for corporate America, not middle and lower class Americans.

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at

  3. #3
    Senior Member CCUSA's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    New Jersey
    The cheap labor frenzy is coming to a close for Corporate America! They warn America like we'll be hurting. Ha, the exact opposite!

    The American people have no sympathy for Corporate criminals!
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  4. #4
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006
    One poster said we could have the prisoners out picking crops. Let law breaking citizens (instead of illegals) help pay for their crimes by providing a service in the fields. Must be plenty of prisoners serving shorter sentences, not the hard core type. And what did the farmers do back in the 50's when President Eisenhower rounded up all the illegals and took them into the heart of Mexico? Did the farmers go broke or what? Must have found someone to do the work plus there were more farmers in the 50's than today too. Then again a lot of farms are owned by big business now and not the small time farmer of yesterday. Just some thoughts I'm rambling off.
    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at

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