“Right now, the best thing that we can do for our economy is to have comprehensive immigration reform,” she told Capitol Hill reporters on Friday, adding:
We have a shortage of workers in our country and you see even in Florida, some of the farmers and the growers saying, “Why are you shipping these immigrants up north — we need them to pick the crops down here.”
“When you import cheap labor, you take away the incentive for businesses to raise wages,” countered Art Arthur, a former immigration judge who now works for the Center for Immigration Studies. “So long as you have a steady supply of cheap labor, you don’t make the sort of investments in training and infrastructure that you would otherwise,” he added.
The U.S. government has long allowed the illegal migration that pressures farm companies to shamefully exploit stoop labor by tough, underpaid, hard-working migrants:
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Overseas, many governments downgrade migration and prefer to pressure companies to invest in modern productivity-boosting equipment. The equipment allows both companies and employers to earn more money each day.
In Italy, for example, some companies use harvesters instead of imported stoop labor to pick tomatoes:
Israel accepts few migrants and instead is developing high-tech glasshouses and robots:
After the shock of President Donald Trump’s low-migration, high-wage policy, more U.S. companies are buying high-tech farm gear to pick tomatoes and fruit:
Even in California, where the government has helped to push up the wages of farm workers, producers are increasingly using machines to raise the productivity of their workers:
Other companies are trying to develop machines that allow a few people to pick even more tomatoes. In Kentucky, for example, researchers at AppHarvest are developing robot pickers for use in huge greenhouses:
Pelosi also claimed that Americans have a moral duty to help migrants, whatever the cost to their fellow Americans, saying “We also have a responsibility to recognize the importance of newcomers to our nation.”
When the President — the former, well, occasional occupant of the White House who preceded President Biden — when he had the ban on Muslims, everybody came forward. Our military, our diplomats, our faith community … came forward and said the refugee resettlement program of the United States is the highlight of our humanitarianism … It is. We have a responsibility to accept some of these people.
“Our nation is great because we are a nation of immigrants,” she insisted, echoing the 1950s narrative that the United States is really a “Nation of immigrants,” not a nation of Americans.
“Productivity is really the key,” countered Arthur. He added:
The more productive workers are, the quicker that [economy] grows. Right now, we’re at an extremely low labor participation rate because we have [many millions] of Americans who should be working, but aren’t. In fact, we’re getting pretty close to the low percentages that we saw back during the Great Recession of 2008 when people just couldn’t find jobs. And when working-age men, in particular, aren’t working, that leads to any number of societal ills.
Easy migration reduces business pressure to improve Americans’ schools, Arthur added:
If employers were dependent upon the schools to produce graduates who were ready, willing, and able to join the workforce, they would demand that those schools provide a better education. But because of the high levels of immigration, legal and illegal, they don’t have to do that. That consigns kids to generational cycles of poverty.
Many polls show the public wants to welcome some immigration. But the polls also show deep and broad public opposition to labor migration and the inflow of temporary contract workers into jobs needed by young U.S. graduates.
This “Third Rail” opposition is growing, anti-establishment, multiracial, cross-sex, non-racist, class-based, bipartisan, rational, persistent, and recognizes the solidarity that American citizens owe to one another.