Skip to comments.Back to indentured servitude: A cynical change in America's promise to temporary workers
Posted on 05/09/2009 9:44:18 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
The Obama administration's immigration proposals are both bad policy and cynical politics - harming our economy and our workers while turning foreign workers into indentured servants.
The Labor Department revised out-of-date rules - some dating back to the Johnson era - for temporary foreign agricultural workers, called H-2A visas, in December 2008. The old rules were cumbersome and costly, thereby actually encouraging farmers to hire illegal immigrants. The results? An estimated 600,000 to 800,000 foreign agricultural workers were employed here, but only about 75,000 H-2A visas were issued in 2007. The rest are presumably here illegally and therefore susceptible to subminimum wages and dangerous, unsanitary living and working conditions. Aside from the affront to our values, such conditions can drive down wages and impair working conditions for American_citizens - to say nothing of the unpaid taxes from the illegal employment.
So, the Labor Department went through the legally required process to reform the rules. The goal: Farmers can hire temporary_workers when no U.S. workers are available and when the foreign workers are appropriately protected. The new rule established enhanced penalties for violations and new tools to ensure compliance, including audits and substantial fines - up to $100,000 for serious injury or death of a worker. The prior rule had a maximum fine of $1,000 - essentially a large speeding ticket for potentially killing someone. Then-Rep. Hilda L. Solis, California Democrat, along with the Food and Commercial Workers Union and a public interest group known as Farmworker Justice, opposed these regulations on various grounds - arguing instead for legislation called AgJobs. Farmworker Justice, in fact, sued and lost an emergency attempt to stop the Labor Department's H-2A reforms in federal court in January.
AgJobs is cynical_and arguably anti-American. It legalizes illegal workers after a small fine of a few hundred dollars.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
Calling Illegals “agricultural workers” is a joke. In my state they fight to get hired on in construction as fast as they can. Framing crews these days are just about 100% from South of the Border. Americans are laid off because the companies can hire the Illegals cheaper. Our grandosn lost his framing job because he didn’t speak Spanish.
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