Where illegal immigration, business and the law collide

“Look, I’m not a criminal. I don’t go around breaking the law, because for one thing I have way too much to lose. I do everything by the book. But if this law goes into effect, I’m telling you I’m not going to follow it. I’m just not. Because I can’t.”

I was sitting at a restaurant bar, talking to its owner about the potential impact of House Bill 87, the illegal immigration bill. He had contacted me, asking if I wanted to hear “the economic perspective of a small business owner,” with the understanding that he would remain anonymous.

“Some restaurant owners who publicly opposed this bill have received death threats, leading me to want to stay below the radar,” he explained in the email. On that basis, we agreed to meet.

If the law survives legal challenge and goes into effect, the owner said, he would face two choices: He could obey the law, lose a very big chunk of his ktichen staff and be forced out of business; or he could evade the law and save his business.

“I’ve got my future and my family’s future tied up in this,” he said, looking around at the bustling restaurant. “We’re doing good right now, but I’m in debt millions of dollars. And when I made that decision (to borrow the money), I didn’t have any idea that they’d be passing a law like this. My bank didn’t have any idea they’d be passing a law like this.”

“I don’t get it. They talk about jobs jobs jobs. The only two industries generating revenue and jobs for Georgia are hospitality and agriculture. And this is going to ruin them both. And it’s not just my kitchen staff who will lose their jobs. All of my front-of-the house workers [bartenders, waiters, hostesses], they’ll be out of work too. We’ve already lost the construction industry, and now we’re going to lose these too. Nobody I know is considering opening another restaurant in this state.”

In fact, if the construction industry was still booming as it was a few years ago, he said, there’s no way the Legislature would have passed HB 87. Back then, too many politically connected people were making too much money off illegal workers. And the hospitality and agriculture industries just don’t have the clout that developers once wielded.

Right now, he said, he does everything he can to abide by the law. He doesn’t pay anybody off the books, which means that everybody on his staff is paying taxes. “This claim that they don’t pay taxes — I don’t get that,” he says. “Yeah, they may not pay a lot in income taxes, but nobody else in those jobs does either [because they don't make a lot of money]. But they pay sales taxes, property taxes, unemployment taxes, and they’re paying a lot of money into Social Security that they’re never going to get back.”

“See that guy right there,” he said, nodding his head toward a nearby waiter. “He’s been in this country since he was five, when his parents brought him here. He graduated from high school here, and he probably speaks better English than I do. He doesn’t know a damn thing about Mexico. And they want to send him back? Back to what? Have you seen what’s going on in Mexico these days?”

“I’m trying to grow my business; I’m trying to help my people grow and build good lives. I don’t think the politicians know what they’re doing. I just don’t think they’ve thought this through.”

780 comments Add your comment

stands for decibels

May 24th, 2011
7:14 am

I don’t think the politicians know what they’re doing. I just don’t think they’ve thought this through.

“through”, as in, past the next election? probably not, no.

Granny Godzilla

May 24th, 2011
7:18 am

Where illegal immigration, business and the law collide…..with morality.

God Bless and protect refugees all over this world.

Southern Comfort

May 24th, 2011
7:31 am

Not to belittle the restaurant owner, but depending on how he voted last election, it could be a case of “be careful of what you ask for, because you just might get it.”

People want undocumented aliens removed from our society, so they elected people they thought would do just that. I think the disconnect comes into play when you look at the long term effects and costs. Nobody looks long term at anything anymore, so it doesn’t surprise me.

After the results of the last election, I can’t say that I feel sorry for the owner, but that’s just me.

arnold

May 24th, 2011
7:32 am

Politicians need to scare voters in order to get elected. At least it currently seems to be the practice. Therefore, the bogey man about illegal immigrants. Anything for a vote.

Jefferson

May 24th, 2011
7:33 am

It’s like a speeding ticket eh? Laws only govern those who will be governed.

AmVet

May 24th, 2011
7:38 am

The neo-cons simply have to have somebody to despise. It is part of their ideological DNA. The Latinos have merely replaced the blacks, that were their target thirty years ago. And the Muslims have become their new Jews.

Yes they hide behind their transparent argument that this is merely respect for the law. To which I give a huge belly laugh! The Republican Party machinery has become more or less, law-averse.

Need evidence? Howe about a serially impeachable administration and scandal ridden scofflaws by the dozens, at every level of the organization. White collar criminals are adulated instead of incarcerated.

I see their position, regarding these “unfortunates”, as little different than their position on abortion. Their claims about caring for the “babies” are again laughable, given their abysmal track record and obvious inconsistencies. This is why they are like two peas in a pod with the hard-core reactionary religionists and other reactionary xenophobes.

They just hate life when they cannot force people to do exactly what they want them to do. In old parlance, their “bag” is to tell folks how to live their lives – BY THEIR RULES.

And the rub? They are growing ever more incensed because they used to be able to get away with it.

No more.

poison pen

May 24th, 2011
7:39 am

Jay, I hate to say it but this sounds like a made up story. You say he is in debt Millions of dollars, he must have one hell of a restaurant. If his business is doing that good why doesn’t he pay his debt? He must be a liberal. just keep borrowing and worry about it later.

If our Govt. was worried about losing low wage help then why doesn’t Obama get more legal immigrant help for everyone and our illegal problem will slowly go away as they won’t have jobs.

I think you heard what this guy had to say after way to many drinks.

Mick

May 24th, 2011
7:41 am

Very good column today where real world reality collides with fanciful ideals. Tell this guy if his business fails to come to miami and start over down here where nobody knows and nobody cares about illegal immigrants…

Southern Comfort

May 24th, 2011
7:44 am

He must be a liberal. just keep borrowing and worry about it later.

It didn’t take long for the labels to start flying… :roll:

poison pen

May 24th, 2011
7:48 am

Jay, please tell us what will be the result on our economy in 10 years when 10 or 12 Million illegals have illegally crossed our borders. Does anyone ever think of that or are you wringing your hands just thinking about all the votes.

poison pen

May 24th, 2011
7:50 am

SoCo, isn’t that what they preach, keep printing money and we can spend our way out of debt.

kitty

May 24th, 2011
7:51 am

He must be a liberal. just keep borrowing and worry about it later.

So the GOP Congress under Bush was a bunch of liberals….gotcha.

I gotta learn how to do the rolling eye emoticon…good grief.

Paul

May 24th, 2011
7:52 am

Morning, AmVet

“My bank didn’t have any idea they’d be passing a law like this.”

Yeah, there’s a lot of complicity here. Aiding and abetting? It’s not just the worker, or the business owner. But as the guy pointed out, his industry doesn’t have ‘clout.’

________________________________________________________________

Is not this man also saying “if I have to fire these workers, American citizens will not come forward to take these jobs. I’ve had some of these people on staff for years, but an American won’t take this job for a week”?

Question I have to ask: what good comes from a law like this?

Jay

May 24th, 2011
7:53 am

Poison, votes have nothing to do with it. In fact, if Republicans were to compromise and help find a way to make these people legal, Latinos would probably be at least as likely to vote GOP as Dem. It ain’t about that.

The restaurant owner also mentioned that a couple of his top employees were legalized under the Reagan amnesty, and have done very well as citizens and hard-working contributors in this country.

Aquagirl

May 24th, 2011
7:54 am

AmVet @ 7:38, WHUT PART OF ILLEGAL DON’T U UNNERSTAND?!?!

There, got that brilliant riposte out of the way.

ty webb

May 24th, 2011
7:54 am

“It didn’t take long for the labels to start flying…”

yeah, kinda like “undocumented alien”.

Paul

May 24th, 2011
7:55 am

“this sounds like a made up story” = “this conflicts with my view of reality, so it must be false”

AmVet

May 24th, 2011
7:55 am

Howdy Paul.

Now you’ve gone and thrown a monkey wrench in the works by asking questions like that?

Pragmatism isn’t usually in the con’s repertoire.

And how ironic that that 7:41 about fanciful ideals immediately follows that bizarre screed.

I may get a yellow card here (or worse), but what the heck – to essentially call the host a liar and the interviewee a drunk, just because you don’t like the information being relayed, is a hand that only a loser would play.

“Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism.” ~Martin Luther King, April 30, 1967

Southern Comfort

May 24th, 2011
7:56 am

poison pen

Haven’t heard someone preach that message, but if you have…..

ty: “It didn’t take long for the labels to start flying…”

yeah, kinda like “undocumented alien”.

Don’t know much about immigration law, do you? That is one of the plain language legal terms for people who enter without inspection or have no legal immigration status. I could use proper immigration lexicon here, but few would probably understand what I was saying.

Paul

May 24th, 2011
7:56 am

On a positive note, it looks as if Texas Gov Perry’s “emergency legislation sanctuary cities and checking for illegals” bill is going to die in the Senate. Law enforcement organizations around the state (the guys with another view of reality) were also opposed.

the watch dog

May 24th, 2011
7:58 am

It is hard not to be sympathetic to this businessman. However, being a little slow on the uptake, why is it that he would lose his business if HB 87 is implemented. I am guessing it is, he does well because of the low wages that he pays illegal immigrants that work in the kitchen.
There is no easy solution to illegal immigration.
Let us say, that one of his employees has an accident after leaving work. He goes to the hospital and because it is a serious accident, the man racks up $500,000 in medical bills. The county and state pay the bill, Government cannot afford that. There has to be a solution and a start is having people that are in the country legally as workers and have insurance for them.

Misty Fyed

May 24th, 2011
7:58 am

What good comes from a law like this?

Well, a law is intended to curb behavior. That the thing that makes being an illegal immigrant so easy is the access to employment. Take that away and the incentive to come here illegally goes away. There will be pains as the workforce adjusts. Maybe the restaraunt owner will have to raise his wages. The good is that there is less motivation to be hear illegally.

These kids of illegal immigrants however are American in everything but paper. They have nowhere else to go. As far as I’m concerned, that water has gone under the bridge. Any good immigration plan is going to have to deal with them compassionately. That said, there is nothing wrong with changing the environment to deter further illegal immigration..

Peadawg

May 24th, 2011
7:59 am

“He could obey the law, lose a very big chunk of his ktichen staff and be forced out of business”

You mean with 10% unemployment, he couldn’t find ANYBODY to hire? Pahlease….

DebbieDoRight

May 24th, 2011
8:00 am

The restaurant owner talked about the new bill from his standpoint, but it will also affect the economy in other ways. Apartment complexes will be effected, as well as rental properties, county and city buses / jobs, grocery stores etc. This is gonna become one big domino effect, and like SoCo said, no one thought the process out to its conclusion, they just wanted to look good before the next election.

Paul

May 24th, 2011
8:01 am

watchdog

“He goes to the hospital and because it is a serious accident, the man racks up $500,000 in medical bills. The county and state pay the bill, Government cannot afford that. There has to be a solution ”

Remember how during the health care reform battle there was a proposal to allow undocumented workers purchase health insurance, an full cost with no subsidies?

Care to guess who killed that idea?

Mick

May 24th, 2011
8:02 am

I’m sure L.A. might be number one with this problem but if you ever want to see illegal immigration run amok – visit miami, not miami beach, two different worlds there. Spanish is the primary language and people give you dirty looks if you start speaking english, this is america? There are so many illegals trying to get everything for free, miami is numero uno in medicare fraud, it’s pathetic. Those of us who have been down here for decades liken it to an invasion of locusts – it’s a plague, they consume and leave the environment worse than was handed to them. Yes, we have achieved third world status but there is a bright side to all this mess, there is money being shoveled around. Where it comes from, I just don’t know. But everday people pull out wads of cash and buy lottery tickets and other consumables but when it comes time to buy groceries, out comes that familiar card with the americn flag on it…

poison pen

May 24th, 2011
8:03 am

Ty, that was funny, SoCo it always comes back to bite ya.

Cherokee

May 24th, 2011
8:03 am

Great column, thanks.

Although I kind of agree with Southern Comfort – I would make a wild guess that this restaurant owner voted Republican in the last election. Be careful what you wish for.

Misty Fyed

May 24th, 2011
8:04 am

Dawg,

He can’t find anyone to work that many hours for those wages.

When your workforce is illegal you don’t have to worry so much about complaints regarding working conditions, breaks, vacation, time off, and you never have to worry about unions.

Don't Tread

May 24th, 2011
8:04 am

Well, if said restaurant owner knows he’s going to lose much of his staff if the law passed, then he also knows they are here illegally.

Who borrows millions of dollars on the premise that cheap illegal labor will always be there to do the work?

“I’m telling you I’m not going to follow it. I’m just not. Because I can’t.” Apparently he hasn’t been “following the law” up to this point, so what’s the difference?

poison pen

May 24th, 2011
8:06 am

DebbieDoRight

May 24th, 2011
8:00 am
The restaurant owner talked about the new bill from his standpoint, but it will also affect the economy in other ways. Apartment complexes will be effected, as well as rental properties, county and city buses / jobs, grocery stores etc. This is gonna become one big domino effect, and like SoCo said, no one thought the process out to its conclusion, they just wanted to look good before the next election.

Wow, does our country even have any legal people working anymore, the sky will fall. Maybe we should takt the Millions of people in the unemployment lines to backfill all the imagined loss of jobs.

DebbieDoRight

May 24th, 2011
8:08 am

Jay, please tell us what will be the result on our economy in 10 years when 10 or 12 Million illegals have illegally crossed our borders

Look back in history for your answer. When the Chineese immigrant flooded American shores, their labor built the locomotive industry into a giant and made a lot of men rich. Just saying………

willydoit?

May 24th, 2011
8:08 am

Try hopping the fence at Turner Field and see what happens…they’ll tackle your butt and haul you off to jail for trespassing!!
Why??? Because trespassing is illegal!!
Undocumented Workers are trespassing on USA soil without the expressed written consent of the owners….Americans!!

Southern Comfort

May 24th, 2011
8:09 am

Maybe the restaraunt owner will have to raise his wages.

:shock: :shock:
And cut back on his profits????

poison pen

Didn’t bite me. Undocumented is what they are, and it’s not meant as some derrogatory slur unlike trying to label someone as a “liberal” is meant to be by conservatives. However, you can play your partisaned reindeer games all day if you like. Doesn’t change my knowledge of immigration one bit.

Call it like it is

May 24th, 2011
8:10 am

Complete utter fairy tail…………the end. Nice thing about being a blog writer. Facts and truth arent necessary.

Misty Fyed

May 24th, 2011
8:10 am

DebbieDoRight

And the chinese immigrants were a subclass that lived in near slavery conditions.

Are you suggesting that was a good thing for the Chinese?

Doggone/GA

May 24th, 2011
8:11 am

“Undocumented Workers are trespassing on USA soil without the expressed written consent of the owners….Americans!!”

America was built by undocumented workers. Just ask the Indians/Native Americans.

poison pen

May 24th, 2011
8:11 am

Don’t get to excited people, save some of it for tomorrows Global Warming Blog and then Pawlenty’s
announcement.

Where's My Party?

May 24th, 2011
8:12 am

“I don’t think the politicians know what they’re doing. I just don’t think they’ve thought this through.”

Change “this” to “anything” and you have the understatement of the year.

“Where illegal immigration, business and the law collide…..with morality.
God Bless and protect refugees all over this world.”

Holy beejeezus…how’s that fainting couch? Comfy?

poison pen

May 24th, 2011
8:12 am

Doggone/GA

May 24th, 2011
8:11 am
“Undocumented Workers are trespassing on USA soil without the expressed written consent of the owners….Americans!!”

America was built by undocumented workers. Just ask the Indians/Native Americans.

Then lets get rid of all the laws, or do you want to only get rid of the ones that suit you?

Paul

May 24th, 2011
8:13 am

Well AmVet, twenty minutes and no one can come up with an answer to “Question I have to ask: what good comes from a law like this?”

Now we’ll get an “I can’t think of anything so I’ll give an answer along the lines of, ‘no one answered ’cause we’re just not into you’.” //sarc//

Peadawg

May 24th, 2011
8:13 am

“He can’t find anyone to work that many hours for those wages.” – Then I don’t feel sorry for him. Maybe he should treat his workers better and he’d be able to hire some of the 10% unemployed.

“Wow, does our country even have any legal people working anymore, the sky will fall.” – Amen! All this fear mongering about this bill is pathetic. We have 10% unemployment…give me a break. Hire those that have been unemployed for months/years.

godless heathen

May 24th, 2011
8:13 am

The very first sentence on the e-verify website (http://www.uscis.gov) states:

“U.S. law requires companies to employ only individuals who may legally work in the United States – either U.S. citizens, or foreign citizens who have the necessary authorization.”

Sounds like Mr. Small Businessman hasn’t been trying too hard to follow all the laws.

wigglwagon

May 24th, 2011
8:14 am

If it were not so pathetic, this article would be hilarious.

“Look, I’m not a criminal. I don’t go around breaking the law, because for one thing I have way too much to lose. I do everything by the book.”

That is prevarication number one. Since long before he opened his restaurant, it has been illegal to hire illegal aliens.

“I don’t get it. They talk about jobs jobs jobs. The only two industries generating revenue and jobs for Georgia are hospitality and agriculture. And this is going to ruin them both.”

Number two. Although it should be federal, this is a good first step toward creating 10 million jobs for legal residents. Actually, it will probably create a lot more than that. Since taxpayers will no longer have to pay welfare to the illegal aliens or to the legal residents whose jobs were taken by the illegals, they will have a lot more money to spend. That should be good for a few extra jobs.

“But they pay sales taxes, property taxes, unemployment taxes, and they’re paying a lot of money into Social Security that they’re never going to get back.”

Number three. Is there anyone out there who is really naive enough to believe that the illegal aliens will not be taken care of on the taxpayers dime when they get older?

At least he was very candid about one item.

“Back then, too many politically connected people were making too much money off illegal workers.”

I doubt he intended to, but at least he did admit that the real motivation for hiring illegals is to make a lot more money than you can by operating legally. I’m sure it will be a sad day for a lot of employers when they have to pay employees to get them to work instead of just threatening them with deportation.

Doggone/GA

May 24th, 2011
8:15 am

“Then lets get rid of all the laws, or do you want to only get rid of the ones that suit you?”

Nope. I just want to know how much more in taxes you’re willing to pay to locate, catch, process, and deport all those millions of illegal immigrants that are here now. And how much additional you’re willing to pay to keep our entire borders – INCLUDING our sea borders 100% secure uncrossable.

stands for decibels

May 24th, 2011
8:15 am

Well AmVet, twenty minutes and no one can come up with an answer to “Question I have to ask: what good comes from a law like this?”

I thought I had. First post in the thread. The good thing is, the guys who voted for it get re-elected.

Peadawg

May 24th, 2011
8:16 am

“Question I have to ask: what good comes from a law like this?”

That 10% unemployment in GA will fall once all the illegals go back/stop coming.

Jay

May 24th, 2011
8:16 am

I couldn’t find room in the AJC column to include this, but the owner did address the wage issue. He’s been in the industry all of his adult life, I believe, and he said that higher wages, and the higher prices he would have to charge as a result, would “break the model” and make his business unprofitable.

AmVet

May 24th, 2011
8:17 am

Two more thoughts on this situation.

Why in the name of law-averse Republicans, have the fake conservatives NOT gone after the thousands of employers, in Georgia alone, who profited illegally from using these people?

Where are their loud, clear and incessant demands that these people be brought to justice and made to pay fines to offset the economic damage? Oh that’s right. After the Wall Street boys got off essentially scott-free for their criminal negligence and malfeasance, we now have this bizarre con platform whereby the thieves should never pay back the victims for their crimes.

So, as we all know – the demands from the right wing for basic, even handed, American justice never happened. Yes, a few of the more courageous are NOW starting to squeak the tiniest bit, but that is it.

Their outrage is predictably directed in ONE direction only. In fact, I doubt it is a stretch at all, to presume that they actually adore those unscrupulous businessmen, across a wide variety of industries and sectors, who lined their pockets with ill-gotten gains.

It’s the “pro-business” mentality, doncha know?

Also, to Misty’s point, the neo-cons HAD that chance.

But they went batshiite ballistic when it was proposed.

Regardless that it was a reasoned and reasonable first major step towards addressing this massive problem.

Again pragmatism was the cost for Republican absolutism…

Paul

May 24th, 2011
8:18 am

Morning, sfd

“The good thing is, the guys who voted for it get re-elected.”

You and I have a serious difference of opinion over the meaning of the word ‘good.’

:-)

Doggone/GA

May 24th, 2011
8:18 am

“That 10% unemployment in GA will fall once all the illegals go back/stop coming”

That’s not the only scenario possible, though. Another possibility is that school drop-outs will rise and it will be older teenagers who take those low-paying jobs as an alternative to going to school. Which would NOT reduce the unemployment rate at all.

DebbieDoRight

May 24th, 2011
8:19 am

pp: Wow, does our country even have any legal people working anymore, the sky will fall. Maybe we should takt the Millions of people in the unemployment lines to backfill all the imagined loss of jobs.

Maybe – but if you’ve spent the last 6 years in college and owe Uncle Sugar tens of thousands of dollars a job for $7.50 an hour just won’t cut it. Not to say that someone would be too proud to take the job, however in order to live, pay off their student loans, AND eat; they’d have to take 4 minimum wage jobs just to break even. And then, they’ve have to pray that they didn’t get sick or hurt because then their Medical bill would be another burden.

Misty: And the chinese immigrants were a subclass that lived in near slavery conditions. Are you suggesting that was a good thing for the Chinese?

Look to history for your answer. The same as any class of people who started at the bottom, some of the chineese worked their way to the top. By the turn of the century, the Chineese as a group made it out of the “sub class”.

Granny Godzilla

May 24th, 2011
8:20 am

Where’s My Party?

Where illegal immigration, business and the law collide…..with morality.
God Bless and protect refugees all over this world.”

Holy beejeezus…how’s that fainting couch? Comfy?

Never saw a fainting couch at a pro-immigration rally, but I did see a picture of Nikki Halley at a Tea Party rally last week – it was her and two cheesy lawn chairs……Now I don’t care who you are…that’s just plain funny

Where is your party? On the wrong side of this issue….and most others at the moment.

Southern Comfort

May 24th, 2011
8:21 am

Paul: Question I have to ask: what good comes from a law like this?

One good thing I see as a possibility is that laws will be changed so that servers are paid at least minimum wage and not what they’re currently paid. Otherwise, it will still be hard to find people to work as servers in restaurants. You’ll have the college/high schoo students but not too many others.

Peadawg

May 24th, 2011
8:21 am

“Nope. I just want to know how much more in taxes you’re willing to pay to locate, catch, process, and deport all those millions of illegal immigrants ”

We won’t have to if we keep making laws like this one. They’ll leave on their own.

Doggone/GA

May 24th, 2011
8:23 am

“We won’t have to if we keep making laws like this one. They’ll leave on their own”

You aren’t betting any money on that, I hope.

godless heathen

May 24th, 2011
8:24 am

“I’ve had some of these people on staff for years, but an American won’t take this job for a week”? ”

He’s be surprised what people will do when their belly gets empty.

Southern Comfort

May 24th, 2011
8:24 am

dB @ 8:15

First, we have posters responding to posts 2-3 minutes before the post. Now, you’re answering questions almost an hour before they’re asked. Next, someone’s gonna post Bookman’s thread the day before he does. :)

Peadawg

May 24th, 2011
8:24 am

“Another possibility is that school drop-outs will rise and it will be older teenagers who take those low-paying jobs as an alternative to going to school.” – That’s a bit of a stretch. But yes…it’s possible.

“So you’re saying I have a chance!!!”

ty webb

May 24th, 2011
8:24 am

Jay,
Did you challenge this guy at all, or were you more of just a shoulder to cry on?

Paul

May 24th, 2011
8:25 am

Peadawg

Do you know anyone out of work?

Have you asked them why they don’t take a job in the hospitality industry? (and please don’t come back with ‘they tried, but all the illegals have all the job”).

You may also want to consider the number of illegals has declined by about a million since the start of the recession. Should be more jobs for Americans, right? And our unemployment rate has changed how?

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2010/0902/Illegal-immigrants-Which-states-have-lost-the-most

AmVet

May 24th, 2011
8:26 am

“…fairy tail…”

Rhetorical question of the day.

Why do so many cons on this forum write at a fifth grade level?

No wonder they flit about as mystery meats. (If I made endless mistakes with elementary school grammar, I sure as hell wouldn’t want to keep the same moniker either!)

Silly educationphobes…

Doggone/GA

May 24th, 2011
8:26 am

“That’s a bit of a stretch. But yes…it’s possible”

Not as much of a stretch as you mgiht think. It’s probably dropped off a lot, but when I was in high school it was quite common for kids to just quit and get a job. And I went to school in a pretty affluent, middle-class neighborhood.

godless heathen

May 24th, 2011
8:27 am

Jay: “He’s been in the industry all of his adult life, I believe, and he said that higher wages, and the higher prices he would have to charge as a result, would “break the model” and make his business unprofitable.”

Sounds like a flawed model. All his competition will be in the same boat.

stands for decibels

May 24th, 2011
8:28 am

he said that higher wages, and the higher prices he would have to charge as a result, would “break the model” and make his business unprofitable.

Jay, was that basically all of it, economically? Did he bring up the cost of hiring and training a new staff, plus what I’d imagine would be a very serious potential for some regular customers deciding not to patronize your business because their favorite people would be gone? (just curious, not trying to advance a case here…)

ty webb

May 24th, 2011
8:29 am

“Next, someone’s gonna post Bookman’s thread the day before he does.”

funny you should mention that, because it just so happens that jay had a conversation about gay marriage and DADT with a young advocate this weekend at a bar in midtown. Jay’s really on to something with this “man on the street” format.

willydoit?

May 24th, 2011
8:29 am

“America was built by undocumented workers. Just ask the Indians/Native Americans.”

No, America was built by the people that came to this country and conquered it and continue to control it. Anytime another country thinks they can take it away today…bring it on!!

stands for decibels

May 24th, 2011
8:30 am

All his competition will be in the same boat.

… if he and his competition live on the Honest Planet, sure.

Peadawg

May 24th, 2011
8:31 am

“You aren’t betting any money on that, I hope.” – Why would they keep crossing the border if there are no jobs for them, no schools to go to, etc. etc.? Take away the opportunities and they’ll go back on their own and HOPEFULLY become a legal citizen some day.

“Do you know anyone out of work?” – Nope.

Doggone/GA

May 24th, 2011
8:31 am

“All his competition will be in the same boat”

But the issue isn’t what boat his competition is on, it’s what boat his customers are on. Sure, he could pay more and charge more…but could his customers afford to PAY more?

@@

May 24th, 2011
8:31 am

He had contacted me, asking if I wanted to hear “the economic perspective of a small business owner,” with the understanding that he would remain anonymous.

“Some restaurant owners who publicly opposed this bill have received death threats, leading me to want to stay below the radar,” he explained in the email. On that basis, we agreed to meet.

jay goes clan-destine!!!

The greedy employer isn’t exploiting his employees!!??!! He cares for their well-being!!??!!

One question…if the waiter’s been in the country since the age of 5, why hasn’t he been allowed to apply for citizenship? It wasn’t his decision to come here.

Jay

May 24th, 2011
8:32 am

No stands, he didn’t raise those issues. He did seem geniunely protective of his people, though.

thomas

May 24th, 2011
8:32 am

Jay

May 24th, 2011
8:16 am

Wouldn’t much of the clean air acts that you have been in favor of do the same thing to those business owners?

Why no fake tears for them?

Maybe Mr. Restaurant guy should come up with a new business model.

Ya know one that actually revolvs around following the law?

Do you also feel any and all who do not agree with the latest Health care reform should be able to obey it only if it makes life easier for them? You do understand there are millions who feel the health care reform willcost them more money right?

Why is that different, other than you like one idea and you don’t like the other?

Aquagirl

May 24th, 2011
8:32 am

Peadawg @ 8:21, you think our immigration laws are scarier than starving, living as a serf, or being beheaded?

You’d bloody well jump the fence in a SECOND if you were in their place.

Finn McCool

May 24th, 2011
8:32 am

Doggone/GA

May 24th, 2011
8:32 am

“Why would they keep crossing the border if there are no jobs for them”

Because there WILL be jobs for them. As long as we are willing to punish the workers, and NOT the business owners they will come – because getting paid is better than not getting paid.

Paul

May 24th, 2011
8:33 am

SoCom

Raising food servers to minimum wage? That would be nice.

But some servers, like at Pappas Steak house, would surely fight it. Even in that industry there’s an upper crust.

Jay

“I believe, and he said that higher wages, and the higher prices he would have to charge as a result, would “break the model” and make his business unprofitable.”

“Break the model.” Local tv station had a segment portion sizes in restaurants (I’ve had enough for two dinners and one lunch in one order before). Interviewed a restaurant owner, mom and pop operation, lots of regulars, who conducted a customer survey after seeing how much food was wasted. Said he’d go back to normal portions and cut prices by a buck or two (significant percentage of the meal cost).

Overwhelming response “we don’t care if we waste it. We want more. Every other restaurant gives us more. You do that, we’ll leave.”

That’s some model.

thomas

May 24th, 2011
8:34 am

DebbieDoRight

May 24th, 2011
8:19 am

Who forced you to take out student loans? Who we will bring them to justice!

Unless of course you chose of your own free will to apply and then accept the student loans.

But that would be silly personal responsibility and we know that is just soo 1980’s.

Actions and decisions have consequences!

Where's My Party?

May 24th, 2011
8:34 am

“Never saw a fainting couch at a pro-immigration rally, but I did see a picture of Nikki Halley at a Tea Party rally last week – it was her and two cheesy lawn chairs……Now I don’t care who you are…that’s just plain funny.”

Not funny, rather immature, ugly and pitiful. But I expect nothing less from you.

“Where is your party? On the wrong side of this issue….and most others at the moment.”

It’s also too early to be assuming so much. On this issue, I happen to agree that illegal immigration should be controlled from the employer side. Workers are trying to make a living. It’s the businesses that hire them that should be punished. Nice try though.

Peadawg

May 24th, 2011
8:36 am

“Because there WILL be jobs for them. As long as we are willing to punish the workers, and NOT the business owners they will come”

According to the guy that Jay mentions in his column…it looks like it is going to punish the business owner.

American worker who can read

May 24th, 2011
8:36 am

This from that frothing right wing NYTimes

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/08/dining/08crackdown.html

“We always, always hire the undocumented workers,” he said. “It’s not just me, it’s everybody in the industry. First, they are willing to do the work. Second, they are willing to learn. Third, they are not paid as well. It’s an economic decision. It’s less expensive to hire an undocumented person.”

While many restaurants do comply with the law, according to government officials, labor economists say immigrants are highly appealing hires because they tend to be especially loyal, stable and dependable. They are also more likely than United States citizens to work for lower wages without health insurance, sick days or paid vacations and paid breaks.

Paul

May 24th, 2011
8:37 am

Peadawg

““Do you know anyone out of work?” – Nope.”

And you say Jay has a credibility problem over the believability of his column?

Southern Comfort

May 24th, 2011
8:37 am

godless heathen

May 24th, 2011
8:37 am

“…but could his customers afford to PAY more?”

So your concern is that his customers won’t have anywhere to eat? They can eat at home. Bring PB&J’s to work. Eat cake (homemade).

I trust you all realize that this entire situation is the result of government setting wages instead of the market.

thomas

May 24th, 2011
8:38 am

Southern Comfort

May 24th, 2011
8:21 am

Some jobs ar best if left for part time employees. Some jobs that must be done inorder for the eonomy to flow MUST be done. However simply because the job must be done does not mean that the jobs are intended tobe careers used to support ones self and ones family.

I waited tables and tended bar all through college. Made good money when I had time to work, never once looked at it as a possible career or felt i should be paid as such.

Hell $200 in tips each night ain’t bad though. Com to think of it not that much less than I make in a year now, if you average it out

thomas

May 24th, 2011
8:39 am

Aquagirl

May 24th, 2011
8:32 am

There are people starving that are documented citizens in our country every day.

Does that forgive them of any wrong doing for any crime they may commit?

Selling drugs to get money? Killing another person who was trying to sell drugs in ther area?

Stealing?

Peadawg

May 24th, 2011
8:39 am

“Peadawg @ 8:21, you think our immigration laws are scarier than starving, living as a serf, or being beheaded?

You’d bloody well jump the fence in a SECOND if you were in their place.”

That’s Mexico’s problem…not ours. We have waaaay to many people HERE that need to be taken care of first to worry about other country’s problems.

Doggone/GA

May 24th, 2011
8:40 am

“I trust you all realize that this entire situation is the result of government setting wages instead of the market”

Government has to step in when the private sector fails to step up.

AmVet

May 24th, 2011
8:41 am

“Do you know anyone out of work?” – Nope.

Now this is an interesting variation of an argument I’ve seen posited here before. That one was that in some supposed Republican suburban neighborhood, of one of the more strident contributors here, nobody was paying the price for the Wall Street foisted disaster forced upon the people.

It apparently only affected non-GOP environs…

And Aquagirl, thanks for the heads up earlier. You know me, always forgetting those little details!

jt

May 24th, 2011
8:41 am

I DO prefer a Mexican cook and waiter when consuming mexican food.

I will not mention the name of my mexican restaurant(1845 May st.,Winder), ,
but before ordering any food…………I insist on my waiter AND cook show me his or her green card or SS # card.
.
They are always happy to comply.
.
Just doing the job that the Federalies won’t do.

Peadawg

May 24th, 2011
8:41 am

“And you say Jay has a credibility problem over the believability of his column?” – Nope. I never said that.

Southern Comfort

May 24th, 2011
8:45 am

thomas

The part time thing, I can understand. I was actually referring to the hourly wages paid to servers. I think it’s like half of minimum wage or something like that.

Mighy Righty

May 24th, 2011
8:46 am

Paul

May 24th, 2011
8:01 am
watchdog

“He goes to the hospital and because it is a serious accident, the man racks up $500,000 in medical bills. The county and state pay the bill, Government cannot afford that. There has to be a solution ”

Remember how during the health care reform battle there was a proposal to allow undocumented workers purchase health insurance, an full cost with no subsidies?

Care to guess who killed that idea?

Actually, the idea is not dead! Under Obamacare, the resturant ownweer will have to pay $2500 dollars per month per employee unless he gets the Pelosi treatment. Now, do you honestly think the resturamt owner is going to insure the same employees that he says he can’t afford to replace? Come on, seriously, why do you suppose he wants them to begin with? In the real world, injuries at work are covered under Wormans Comp Insurance. Want to place a bet as to whether his employees are covered?

@@

May 24th, 2011
8:47 am

I agree with thomas. Minimum wage plus tips? My daughter bartended while at UGA…made GOOD money in tips. My nephew, the oyster shucker, made even more.

poison pen

May 24th, 2011
8:47 am

Doggone/GA

May 24th, 2011
8:15 am
“Then lets get rid of all the laws, or do you want to only get rid of the ones that suit you?”

Nope. I just want to know how much more in taxes you’re willing to pay to locate, catch, process, and deport all those millions of illegal immigrants that are here now. And how much additional you’re willing to pay to keep our entire borders – INCLUDING our sea borders 100% secure uncrossable.

Doggone, please show me where I said any of this in any of my posts, Please

Paul

May 24th, 2011
8:47 am

Peadawg,

Sorry. That was poison pen who questioned Jay’s credibility.

You questioned the restaurant owner’s credibility.

So here’s the do-over.

““Do you know anyone out of work?” – Nope.”

And you say the restaurant owner has a credibility problem over the believability of his statements?!!?

Bosch

May 24th, 2011
8:48 am

The neo-cons simply have to have somebody to despise. It is part of their ideological DNA. The Latinos have merely replaced the blacks, that were their target thirty years ago. And the Muslims have become their new Jews.

And THAT’S why I really like AmVet — no beating around the bush — just says it like it is.

Finn McCool

May 24th, 2011
8:48 am

Dylan is 70?

” All I really want to do…is remove my walker leg from this sidewalk crack”

DebbieDoRight

May 24th, 2011
8:48 am

thomas: Who forced you to take out student loans?

Ummm thomas, I was speaking metaphorically. I had a 4 year scholarship.

Who we will bring them to justice! Unless of course you chose of your own free will to apply and then accept the student loans.

You know it’s dang if you do and danged if you don’t with you huh? Not making enough money? Well, then take your behind back to school this is America anyone can do better!! Can’t afford school? Get a student loan, this is America anyone can do better!! Can’t get a job to pay off your student loans? Well you chose, of your own free will, to take out student loans; that’s YOUR problem!!

But that would be silly personal responsibility and we know that is just soo 1980’s

Tell that to Rumsfield, Cheney et al.

Actions and decisions have consequences!

then why did the right go bananas when Obama made BP pay for their mistake? Does that sentence you made only apply to “the little people”?

SoGaVet

May 24th, 2011
8:49 am

I’m a real fence sitter on this issue. Don’t like the profiling part, but like employers hiring illegals less.

Sounds like this employer doesn’t pay a decent wage, hence why he only hires illegals. If the illegals go, then employers will have to raise wages to hire Americans. Hire more Americans, they become taxpaying, employed citizens. Ooo-o-o-oo I like the sound of that.