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Thread: BOB BARR: Hidden cost of immigration crackdown

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  1. #1
    Super Moderator GeorgiaPeach's Avatar
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    BOB BARR: Hidden cost of immigration crackdown

    BOB BARR: Hidden cost of immigration crackdown


    April 8, 2018


    Stan Marek can’t find men to hire. The work is there; an abundance of it as the housing market continues rebounding from the last recession. Marek told Fox News his construction company could easily add 600 positions to meet construction demand. But, as Marek notes, “there’s just not anybody you can hire out there…there’s work out there if we could find those people.”


    Marek’s is a common story in the construction industry: a deep housing market, but a shallow labor pool. According to business owners like Marek, many of these positions disappeared with last decade’s recession. Yet, as the demand for new construction recovered, the number of skilled laborers did not. Houses now take longer to build because crews are smaller, and new construction costs have soared as labor rates have increased to reflect the new supply and demand curve. For example, Bloomberg notes the cxcost of framing a 3,000 square foot house has nearly doubled in less than a year due to lack of skilled migrant labor. This adds thousands of dollars to the cost of new construction that home buyers are forced to pay.

    According to Fox News, the National Association of Home Builders notes that labor shortages are affecting more than half of the nation’s developers; a problem even more acute in the country’s hotter housing markets. One reason is many of the skilled laborers impacted by the recession left the industry in pursuit of new opportunities, or returned back to their home country. More recently, however, another factor impacting construction labor has arisen: President Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown.


    Migrant labor is the life force of American construction. And, the crackdowns on both illegal and legal immigration — such as the RAISE Act being pushed by Trump and Sens. Tom Cotton and David Purdue — are making matters worse for the construction industry. Proponents of stricter immigration controls for legal migrants (especially those who could begin to fill the broad labor shortages in construction) argue they simply are protecting American jobs. The continued shortage, however, is clear evidence this is simply not the case; the jobs are there, but red-blooded American citizens are not filling them.


    Traditionally we think of immigration “costs” in terms of strains on social welfare, hospital systems, and schools. While this is a legitimate metric, it is increasingly important also to look at the hidden costs of trying to address America’s immigration system with enhanced restrictions. This is not to say, as I have written before, that border security is no longer a crucial objective; it is, and to his credit, Trump has done a laudable job ending the capricious messaging of the Obama administration on illegal immigration, especially across our southern border. Regardless of whether Trump’s wall is ever built, his reversal of nearly a decade of Obama’s feckless immigration policies has already made a difference.


    The issue at hand is how we move forward with immigration policies that protect America’s interests, while not shooting ourselves in the foot to accomplish these goals. Unfortunately, the tribalism impacting not just our nation, but Congress as well, has made such nuanced approaches nearly impossible. Democrats put all their eggs in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals basket, reducing their effectiveness to negotiate with Republicans on other and related issues.


    Meanwhile, Republicans respond to pressure from constituents that any compromise on immigration is tantamount to going back to the Obama days, by refusing to do anything other than voice support for stronger and stronger restrictions.


    A solution that is best for America lies somewhere in between the nonsensical notion of “Sanctuary Cities” (or states) and completely shutting off the avenue for foreign-based labor — in other words, immigration reform that provides adequate funding for border protection and maintains enforcement of America’s immigration laws, but also creates better and easier ways to lawfully enter the country for work. In many respects, the traditional “costs” of immigration are felt only in the abstract, and in some cases, are exaggerated altogether. The hidden costs, however, such as increases in products and services, like construction, which rely heavily on lower-cost labor, are felt immediately and daily by citizens who must shoulder the costs of dwindling migrant labor burdening businesses.


    Perhaps ever higher consumer costs are something Americans are willing to bear for tightening immigration restrictions. The point is that Republicans and Democrats should work together on solutions, like adults, where such a scenario is avoided altogether. Doing so, however, would require dropping the heated campaign rhetoric, and performing the job many of us sent them to Congress to accomplish.



    http://www.mdjonline.com/opinion/bob...4be8a1f62.html
    Last edited by GeorgiaPeach; 04-09-2018 at 07:50 PM.
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    Oh cry the blues because you don't want to pay American wages. Nauseating. Make less profit!
    These industries have been spoiled and we have wages similar to the 70's STILL - COST OF LIVING IS NOT BACK IN THE 70'S.
    Last edited by artist; 04-09-2018 at 08:11 PM.
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    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Yeah, the same ole lies we've listened to for 50 years.
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    MW
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    Hmm, maybe we have too many construction companies.

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    Senior Member hattiecat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by artist View Post
    Oh cry the blues because you don't want to pay American wages. Nauseating. Make less profit!
    These industries have been spoiled and we have wages similar to the 70's STILL - COST OF LIVING IS NOT BACK IN THE 70'S.
    Absolutely; the builders love hiring illegal alien subcontractors who don't take taxes out and give their employees 1099's, as they will work at wages no legal business could survive on. The National Association of Homebuilders are huge advocates of continued illegal immigration.
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    Senior Member Captainron's Avatar
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    House framing is kind of a cheap-a** business to begin with. They usually don't make that much money, it's tiring work and dangerous at times. The licensed trades do better financially, because the carpenters are unlicensed to begin with.
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    I'm all for legal temporary immigration. But it must have safeguards. The alien must be registered when they come into the country and when they leave. Their employment must be reported to the government and employers MUST PAY appropriate wages, withholding, Workers Compensation, medical and any other compensations that would be afforded a citizen laborer. If there is a deficit in available local labor, this will cover it. That will benefit the alien workers and protect Americans who could apply for that work. Yes it will raise the cost of doing business, but that will make it what it should be. Any alien who enters under this program is free to apply for citizenship and if granted, will have access to systems, such as Social Security, that they have paid into even before becoming a citizen. Any alien caught in the country illegally, is permanently barred from potential citizenship and the right to return to this country.

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    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    At this time, until we get these 30 million illegal aliens out of here, until we eliminate chain migration, visa lottery, TPS, DACA and reduce these foreign worker visas that replace American Workers, I want none of it. You can't weed in any new valid workers, until we rid ourselves of these tens of millions of illegal workers and their families, no child left behind. Deficits in local labor needs to be sought outside the local area but still within the United States. There's tons of it, they have to get off their butts and go find it, lure the people to their area, offer benefits and relocation expenses, be nice to them, help them find nice housing, make friends and do like companies used to do. This is how our companies used to behave when we controlled immigration. No one wanted employees who didn't know our ways, with no education, and couldn't even speak English. What is going on is crazy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judy View Post
    Deficits in local labor needs to be sought outside the local area but still within the United States. There's tons of it, they have to get off their butts and go find it, lure the people to their area, offer benefits and relocation expenses, be nice to them, help them find nice housing, make friends and do like companies used to do.
    As you know, that costs money that they have gotten used to not having to spend by hiring illegal workers. If they have to pay the aliens the same wages, the local workers may come. I'm not for crippling the farmers by just cutting off all labor. I want them to have no cost advantage in hiring aliens. But if there is a shortage of manpower, we should not prohibit a legal alien worker program.
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    MW
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtdc View Post
    As you know, that costs money that they have gotten used to not having to spend by hiring illegal workers. If they have to pay the aliens the same wages, the local workers may come. I'm not for crippling the farmers by just cutting off all labor. I want them to have no cost advantage in hiring aliens. But if there is a shortage of manpower, we should not prohibit a legal alien worker program.
    The farming community already has a valid visa program for the hiring of immigrant labor. However, many farmers skirt the visa program because they think it is too cumbersome and costly. Many farmers have already shown us that they are going to do whatever is necessary, including breaking the law, to maximize profits by cutting labor cost.

    There is no way we're going to negate the cost advantage to hiring illegal aliens. They only way we're going to win on the farm issue is to completely cut-off the illegal labor source. Do that and they'll be forced to use the H-2A Temporary Agricultural Worker visa program.
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