Immigration bill clarifies a once-muddy debate

NOTE: This is the electronic version of today’s AJC column.

Whatever else it accomplishes, passage of House Bill 87 has brought a welcome clarity to the debate over illegal immigration in Georgia. It has cast sunlight where there used to be shadows and has forced hypocrisy out into the open.

For example, do illegal immigrants perform labor that most Georgians are unwilling or even unable to do? The once contentious question now has an answer: Yes, in many cases they do. Acres and acres of crops now rotting in the south Georgia sunshine offer mute testament to that fact that agricultural labor is hard, and that most people in Western industrialized countries don’t want to do it.

And have Georgia farmers become dependent on that illegal workforce, in many cases building their entire economic structure on the availability of cheap and undocumented labor?

Until recently, the state agriculture community had clung to the fiction that only a small and unknowable percentage of their labor was here illegally. However, as their workforce shrinks in the wake of HB 87, such denials have become impossible to sustain. The degree to which they have relied on illegal labor is now painfully clear, and will be reflected on many a bottom line.

In fact, farmers have until now enjoyed the best of both worlds. As long as lax enforcement of federal immigration law gave them access to a large, docile and for the most part invisible workforce, they could sit back and remain quiet in the politically charged debate over amnesty and other measures intended to rationalize immigration. (It didn’t hurt that keeping those workers illegal created an all-but-captive workforce that had few other options.)

Members of Georgia’s congressional delegation have long been complicit in that two-sided game. They have quietly blocked periodic attempts by the federal government to enforce immigration laws more stringently, while simultaneously railing against the presence of the very illegal immigrants they were helping to protect.

Passage of HB 87 has ended that sweet little arrangement. If the state’s agriculture industry wants continued access to that workforce, they need to become vocal advocates for some means of legalizing and protecting it. They need to publicly acknowledge that a population vilified by many as a drain on the state’s economy is in fact a necessity in much of rural Georgia, and they need to start electing public officials who are willing to make that argument in Washington and here in Atlanta.

If they have workers they want to keep, they need to fight for them. And that does not mean adopting the Utah approach of trying to “legalize” illegal immigrants at the state level, giving them permission to be in the state as long as they agree to remain in the fields picking crops and don’t have any higher ambitions. (HB 87 includes a provision calling for a study of that approach).

Such a program would be wildly unconstitutional. And perhaps just as important, we are long past the days when we condemn a population to servitude in manual labor, allowing them to do that but dream of nothing else.

By the way, everything that can be said about the political silence of Georgia agriculture industry regarding the fate of its workforce, and the price they’re paying for it, can also be said about other industries, especially restaurants, hotels and other service-related industries.

The answer to this dilemma will come not in piecemeal state legislation, but in a federal law that simultaneously tightens laws against hiring of illegal labor while offering those already here a path to citizenship. Anything else is fruitless.

– Jay Bookman

420 comments Add your comment

Joe The Plumber too.

July 5th, 2011
7:53 am

willydoit?

July 5th, 2011
7:53 am

The Georgia farmers survived after slavery was abolished and they will survive the illegals leaving. The passage of HB87 may not be the popular thing to do…but it was the right thing to do.

Vickie

July 5th, 2011
7:56 am

Jay, first let’s address your “byline” above. It is over the top egotistical if you think about it. The photo is a bit large…

Second, let’s address your misguided (to be kind) attitude that we need to legalize the millions of illegal, welfare class people having strings of children at our expense while they send money back into the Mexican (predominately) economy. How in God’s name can a nation with crumbling infrastructure and its military stretched to the breaking point continue to be Mexican’s catch basin for their ever increasing overpopulation of welfare class people draining us dry? Give the ones here amnesty, and they will be rioting and demanding what they want in another decade or less.

Mary Elizabeth

July 5th, 2011
7:57 am

A courageous and humane column. Well thought through proposals to uplift all.

bman

July 5th, 2011
8:01 am

it’s so odd that people think this way…

Thomas

July 5th, 2011
8:03 am

Turn the sun off for a day. Move Israel to Mexico. Mexico becomes a bastion of economic growth and the Mideast is left to itself.

It is hard to imagine leading a country (Mexico) with so many intelligent, hard workers, with so many natural resources, and one has to risk their life to leave the country. I suppose the real solution is to continue enabling this grotesque result and wrap it as “great humanity”.

Bosch

July 5th, 2011
8:09 am

There are whole neighborhoods that are gone in my neck of the woods….taxpaying working folks who decided to move on…..

Not Blind

July 5th, 2011
8:10 am

You are not seeing the forest, you are seeing a few trees. At most the agriculture industry needs some thousands of part time workers [ the few trees]. The problem is that we have many millions of illegal aliens in the country [ the forest ].

Aquagirl

July 5th, 2011
8:11 am

address your misguided (to be kind) attitude that we need to legalize the millions of illegal, welfare class people having strings of children

Oh yeah, there’s no bigotry behind this illegal bashing. None at all.

jconservative

July 5th, 2011
8:21 am

The chances of a federal immigration bill appear to be less than slim.

There is no one on either side of the debate willing to compromise with the other side. So we will not have a bill than does anything to resolve what to do about 11 million plus illegals in the country.

So what will we do? Nothing. We will continue the same policy we have had for the last 25 years.

The only difference is the several; states are now passing laws trying to control the flow of illegals within their borders. So we have cases on the state laws heading for the Supreme Court.

Since Congress and the White House have refused to address the issue for the last 25 years we can now expect the Supreme Court to resolve the issue.

That is what happens. Congress refuses to legislate an issue, the issue gets to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court “legislates” the issue. We call it “legislating from the bench”. We call it “activist” judges. We have been doing this since 1803.

We say we do not like either “legislating from the bench” or “activist” judges. But we refuse to handle the issues in the legislature. So the Court steps into the vacuum and makes a decision.

The history of the Supreme Court is as much a history of a failed political system as it is a history of a court.

Darko

July 5th, 2011
8:22 am

willydoit?
“The Georgia farmers survived after slavery was abolished and they will survive the illegals leaving. The passage of HB87 may not be the popular thing to do…but it was the right thing to do.”

Well said. It may mean we’ll pay a little more for farm products. So be it, it is a price I’m willing to pay.

Real Scooter

July 5th, 2011
8:23 am

Oh yeah, there’s no bigotry behind this illegal bashing. None at all

Oh yeah,there’s no bigotry behind your post either. None at all

Joe The Plumber too.

July 5th, 2011
8:24 am

aquagirl as usual screams bigotry and racism. Illegal is illegal (except if you are a potential dimocrap voter). ICE had a chance to round up thousands of criminals at the Capitol and busted six, our broken government at work, what else is new. It is much easier to try to raise taxes on the small business owners in this country to provide more welfare and ebt payments than to address the problems confronting us and reguardless of bedwetters public statements, the ones with half a brain know that the illegal aliens are part of the problem.

Bud Wiser

July 5th, 2011
8:24 am

Bookman:……. we are long past the days when we condemn a population to servitude in manual labor,…..

Are you actually referring to ACORN in sort of a Freudian slip?

Or perhaps your indentured collection of minorities that continually blindly vote democrat because that is what they have always done?

Perhaps in actuality this is a back door ploy for amnesty?

Why be so sneaky Bookman?

Media stooges these days just come out and say what they really mean, becoming more frantic as they realize their day is coming to a close in 2012, and will say or do anything their DNC masters instruct them to do.

carlosgvv

July 5th, 2011
8:25 am

Jay, offering those already here a path to citizenship in effect condons their coming here and being here illegally. Telling millions of people who have seriously violated our laws we will let them become citizens makes a mockery of the law. A whole generation has grown up seeing law enforcement look the other way while these laws were being ignored. Some of these in this generation will be our future Presidents, Congressmen and women, judges, etc. Do you want these future lawmakers to think obeying laws is optional? Have you even thought about this?

Baby Suggs

July 5th, 2011
8:27 am

willy: The Georgia farmers survived after slavery was abolished and they will survive the illegals leaving.

Yes they found the marvelous feudal system called “share cropping” — worked wonders!! They put former slaves on the land, said it was “their land” (with a few stipulations), made them pay for the seeds, the plow and the mule to farm the land, then took 98% of the profits! THAT’s American ingenuity (with a feudal twist).

Keep Up the Good Fight!

July 5th, 2011
8:27 am

The problem will continue to become even more painfully obvious….and its not Bookman’s ego or photo despite the convulted attack. The problem is that there is one side that will not consider reality, one side that will only rail to get rid of them all, one side that attacks “illegals” as if all Hispanics are Mexican or all “illegals” are hispanic, one side that will not allow any practical solutions that include ANY path to citizenship no matter how sensible, one side that plugs their ears and says “lalalalalalalala” when the facts and costs are discussed, one side that screams over and over “what part of illegal do you not understand”. Jay, your proposal makes every bit of sense. Even Bush recognized it.

Alas, the extreme wingnuts only want to scream and demand, they do not want solutions they want to get their way.

Baby Suggs

July 5th, 2011
8:29 am

Are you actually referring to ACORN in sort of a Freudian slip?

Grow up…….Sheesh!

Thomas

July 5th, 2011
8:32 am

“Alas, the extreme wingnuts only want to scream and demand, they do not want solutions they want to get their way.”

What an assinine comment. We also need a solution for drunk driving I suppose?

The far right cling to religion for answers, the far left finds its religion in thinking pretty thoughts and using other peoples money and time to effectuate said pretty thoughts.

No screaming here my man- I just know we have 20+ % inner city unemployment of which opm and pretty thoughts are not going to cure. It is time for the mealy mouths to move on just like the neocons were forced to do.

Baby Suggs

July 5th, 2011
8:32 am

aquagirl as usual screams bigotry and racism. Illegal is illegal (except if you are a potential dimocrap voter).

address your misguided (to be kind) attitude that we need to legalize the millions of illegal, welfare class people having strings of children

I will be soooo glad when school lets back in.

Joe The Plumber too.

July 5th, 2011
8:33 am

keep up the good lies, As a member of “one side” let me tell you that I do not think that all hispanics are mexican nor do I think all illegals are hispanic. I don’t care if they are blacker than night or white with blond hair and blue eyes. If they are here illegal, round them up, send them back or punish them and then send them back, I’m just sick of paying for them.

Joe The Plumber too.

July 5th, 2011
8:34 am

babyslug, school will be back in session next November when barry the boy blunder is told he has two months to pack his gladrags and get out. Graduation Day.

Jm

July 5th, 2011
8:37 am

On balance, the new law is a good thing.

Off topic- NPR report this morning on section 8 voucher changes. Specific story about a woman whose voucher wil. Go up from $1500 to $2000 per month. And shes been on section 8 for 4 years. My reaction: say what???!!!!

$2000 a month in Dallas (where the story was$ will buy the toniest kind of place in Atlanta, Dallas, or most other places.

So taxpayers are now supposed to put up our poor in the ritz Carlton??? WTF

Southern Comfort

July 5th, 2011
8:38 am

Man, for so many here to have the answer to our problem, nothing has been done since Reagan. I’m no longer amazed by the armchair quarterbacking. Just more examples of how disfunctional our society has become. I’m sure before too long, the name-calling and other childish crap will commence.

Y’all have fun with what y’all do best…

Tamika

July 5th, 2011
8:38 am

Jay, Screw the employers and give the illegals amnesty is not a basis for a solution to the immigration problem.
A guest worker program might be.
Federal leadership in the matter with both real enforcement of our laws might be.
The last time we did an amnesty, we just fueled the demand for another amnesty. What is the difference between amnesty and open borders? The liberals are fond of demanding a comprehensive solution.
It’s time we had one.

Ayn Rant

July 5th, 2011
8:39 am

Despite all the political rants about illegal immigrants, nothing but harassment will ever be done to stem the flow of determined newcomers or to recognize “undocumented” persons as citizens.

Americans are not ready for the sensible, time-proved solution to the immigrant problem: acceptance of all who are willing to work and to adapt to the rudiments of our culture.

So let’s just keep venting our prejudice and outrage until time and circumstances wear us down to accept the inevitable!

1811/1801 - 0311/0317

July 5th, 2011
8:39 am

Two points:

1) “For example, do illegal immigrants perform labor that most Georgians are unwilling …….. to do?

Yes and that’s pathetic because our forefathers (and my grandfather, father and myself) had no problems with it!

2) “……..we are long past the days when we condemn a population to servitude in manual labor, allowing them to do that but dream of nothing else.’

We would still be condemning a whole nationality/race to servitude in manual labor even if a few could “move up”.

And that is also pathetic.

3) I would rather seal our borders, and protect our sovereignty and security. Save the billions in tax money for illegal alien purposes (crime, law enforcemnt, medical, schooling, welfare, etc.) and pay HiGHER prices for that kind of labor intensive food.

1811/1801 - 0311/0317

July 5th, 2011
8:40 am

Excuse me: It’s early ………. three points …………. :o

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zANvYB93u2g&feature=related

Rightwing Troll

July 5th, 2011
8:41 am

Joe tha Idiot:

Then what?

John Fault

July 5th, 2011
8:42 am

If the ag. industry can’t afford to pay market wages for labor, then they will fail. It’s called the free market. Love it and eat peaches imported from Chile. They are better anyway.

America doesn’t need non-strategic industries like ag anyway. The only reasons ag survives in the US anyway is corporate welfare and illegal labor.

The ag industry needs to quit mooching off the producers.

1811/1801 - 0311/0317

July 5th, 2011
8:42 am

willydoit @ 7:53

“The Georgia farmers survived after slavery was abolished and they will survive the illegals leaving.”

Excellent point ……………. there is always a better way.

Southern Comfort

July 5th, 2011
8:44 am

If they are here illegal, round them up, send them back or punish them and then send them back, I’m just sick of paying for them.

Joe, you’re gonna pay for them either way you look at it, so prepare to stay sick of a long time.

If you round them up to send them back, you have to pay for the round up, detention, court costs, and deportation costs. If you round them up, punish them, and then send them back, you have the additional costs of housing them in jail/prison for whatever time they’re sentenced. Either way, it will be an expensive undertaking. I don’t have faith in anything being done anytime in the near future with the whole Taxed Enough Already crowd yelling so loud that they’re drowning out the rest of the voices here in the US. Until sanity makes a return appearance to any and all dialogue here, we’re screwed.

Baby Suggs

July 5th, 2011
8:44 am

keep up the good lies

babyslug

barry the boy blunder

Well that is just like that “other” party – they can’t contribute to a discussion with logic and facts, so they just start name calling and pointing fingers. I’m surprised none of them have started using the incredibly super intelligent playground comeback of “I know you are but what am I?” :roll:

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

July 5th, 2011
8:44 am

1. Ten million rednecks with pickup trucks.
2. Forty million illegals.
3. Load illegals in beds of pickup trucks.
4. Give rednecks guvmint gas money.
5. Drive to Mexican border.
6. Dump illegals across border =
7. Problem solved.

Joe The Plumber too.

July 5th, 2011
8:46 am

rightwing fool: then what??????????????? you need to hit the gym this morning maybe sweat a little of the tequila out.

Aquagirl

July 5th, 2011
8:46 am

aquagirl as usual screams bigotry and racism.

When I read bigoted, racist posts, yes. That’s a pretty normal reaction if you don’t like bigotry and racism.

If xenophobic rants don’t bother you, there’s probably a reason.

hsn

July 5th, 2011
8:48 am

“The answer to this dilemma will come not in piecemeal state legislation, but in a federal law that simultaneously tightens laws against hiring of illegal labor while offering those already here a path to citizenship. Anything else is fruitless.”

Jay,

This is the most sensible, constitutional, and least costly solution to this issue. However, EVERY SINGLE TIME Federal Congressional proposals along those lines are introduced, the cons and their “act first, think later” mob supporters start screaming “IT’S AMNESTY, IT’S AMNESTY,” and the bill is killed.

Has the problem gone away?

Clinton tried it, the cons killed it. Kennedy tried it, the cons killed it. McCain and Bush tried it, the cons killed it. Even Bush, saw through their ethnic-based antics and called them out on it. Gutierrez tried it, but the usual suspects killed it.

The cons are nothing but agents of fear and apostles of stagnation of progress in this country.

Joe The Plumber too.

July 5th, 2011
8:49 am

be careful babyslug, you forgot to play the race card, oh well, you must be new. granny, amvet, debbiedonothing, joesmama and the rest of the bedwetters will fill you in.

THE TRUTH

July 5th, 2011
8:49 am

Illegal is illegal is illegal.

Joe The Plumber too.

July 5th, 2011
8:52 am

aqua, sorry I’m not scared of people of any color, but as a taxpaying citizen, I don’t like being around some people, thieves, liars, criminals, welfare broodmares…….

stands for decibels

July 5th, 2011
8:53 am

The only reasons ag survives in the US anyway is corporate welfare and illegal labor.

You don’t think maybe there might be a teensy bit of national security consideration involved regarding that policy? I mean, a country like ours with all that arable land, that chooses not to bother to grow most of its own food… that doesn’t sound very smart to me.

SKH

July 5th, 2011
8:56 am

A solution is clearly needed. But, aside from the seeming inability of Congress to get anything meaningful done unless facing an apocalypse, what I don’t get is the fuzzy thinking politicians (and even their constituents) have concerning illegal immigration and other matters involving principle. I would like to ask them a simple question: if a few strangers broke into your house and took up residency there for some years (though they mowed the lawn for you and did some other household chores), would that be alright with you? Illegal immigration is wrong, period. Try illegally immigrating to China (or even Mexico for that matter) and see what happens to you. Similarly, does anyone go to sleep at night without first locking their doors? We need to seal the borders! How foolish is it to have porous borders in a post 9/11 era? What do they do when a deadly disease appears in the population? They quarantine!

Those points aside, I should think if anyone deserves preferential immigration status it would be the people in our two great neighboring countries – Canada and Mexico. They are our friends and neighbors. If they wish to come here to work, let’s accommodate that desire with a guest worker program. If they want to actually immigrate here, let’s move them to the top of the waiting list. But do it legally, for Pete’s sake. But we should not condone the illegal actions of immigrants already here by simply legalizing them. Amnesty was already granted once back in the 80s. What did that accomplish? It apparently told everyone in other countries that there is no penalty for violating the sovereignty of our great nation, because millions have illegally immigrated here since then. What should be done with these people is the great question. They need to pay a price for 1) breaking the laws of our land 2) stealing goods and services to which they are not entitled 3) using our country rather than trying to be a permanent part of it. What they have done is wrong and many people (like those running businesses) have looked the other way because they were personally benefitting from the cheap labor – the rest of us picking up the tab be damned.

Had Congress acted to create a guest worker program and given preferential immigration status to our neighbors back in the 80s, we wouldn’t be having this conversation now. But, if they had acted to solved our unhealthy dependency upon foreign oil back in the 70s after the first oil embargo, our economy would be in much better shape and there probably wouldn’t be such a problem with terrorism (which is being funded largely with oil money). Let’s get people in Congress who will come up with and implement wise, constructive and viable solutions to our great problems.

AmVet

July 5th, 2011
8:56 am

The answer to this dilemma will come not in piecemeal state legislation, but in a federal law that simultaneously tightens laws against hiring of illegal labor while offering those already here a path to citizenship. Anything else is fruitless.

Jay, that is sensible and pragmatic, and therefore futile.

The extremists are interested in neither. It’s not in their political DNA.

And why they still have illegal cr@p on their faces from 2007…

Baby Suggs

July 5th, 2011
8:56 am

Taxed Enough Already crowd yelling so loud that they’re drowning out the rest of the voices here in the US

Hmmmm do you mean people like these:

and pay HiGHER prices for that kind of labor intensive food.

They scream about taxes for infrastructure and schools, but say, out the side of their mouths that they wouldn’t mind, not one bit, paying more for food. Yeah riggggghhhhhttttttt…….. :wink:

Southern Comfort

July 5th, 2011
8:56 am

dB

Smart doesn’t always apply here!!

stands for decibels

July 5th, 2011
8:57 am

The cons are nothing but agents of fear and apostles of stagnation of progress in this country.

well, that’s kinda harsh, and I’m sure most conservatives don’t believe themselves to be that…

but their leading intellectual light did proudly and famously proclaim that he wished to “[stand] athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it.”

…which is pretty much the same thing as being pro-stagnation and anti-progress, really. It just sounds prettier.

reyes

July 5th, 2011
8:59 am

I’m kinda getting tired of people claiming their taxes pay for illegals!!!! Really people, how much in taxes do you pay, Ur puny individual contributions couldn’t feed ur own family for a week. Grow up, and if u dislike illegals that much, do not eat chicken or any farm related items at all until they leave, otherwise u are biting the hand that feeds, there is no food that we eat that does not pass through illegal alien labor, are youall hypocrites?

Adam

July 5th, 2011
9:01 am

Skipping this one.

Baby Suggs

July 5th, 2011
9:02 am

be careful babyslug, you forgot to play the race card, oh well, you must be new. granny, amvet, debbiedonothing, joesmama and the rest of the bedwetters will fill you in.

To that statement ma’am I give you this answer. Enjoy.

Peadawg

July 5th, 2011
9:04 am

“And have Georgia farmers become dependent on that illegal workforce, in many cases building their entire economic structure on the availability of cheap and undocumented labor?”

They won’t get any sympathy from me. Didn’t they know slave labor has been outlawed for a while? Shame on the farmers.

Joe The Plumber too.

July 5th, 2011
9:04 am

fellow conservatives, I have to head out to make urkle a few more dollars to give away today, be nice to the bedwetters, the mail didn’t run yesterday so some of them didn’t recieve the welfare checks you and I provide.

THE TRUTH

July 5th, 2011
9:04 am

reyes are you afraid you’ll be sent home ?

RRCC

July 5th, 2011
9:05 am

MYTH: Immigrants take jobs from Americans.
FACT: Immigrants create new jobs, and complement the skills of the
U.S. native workforce.

MYTH: Immigrants drive down the wages of American workers.
FACT: Immigrants increase overall economic productivity and have no
significant effect on overall wages for American workers.

MYTH: Immigrants will cause massive, unnecessary population growth
in the United States.
FACT: As the baby boomer generation begins to retire and the U.S.
fertility rate declines, it will be necessary to replace our aging
workforce with immigrants to maintain economic growth.

MYTH: Undocumented immigrants do not pay taxes.
FACT: Undocumented immigrants pay billions of dollars in taxes
each year, often for services they will never receive.

MYTH: Immigrants come to the United States for welfare benefits.
FACT: The law forbids immigrants from using welfare services.

MYTH: The Government should just enforce the law to solve our
immigration problems.
FACT: Enforcement alone will not solve our immigration problems. The
cost would be prohibitive, it would have a detrimental effect on
the U.S. economy, and it would simply push certain immigrants
further into the underground economy.

MYTH: Immigrants are not assimilating.
FACT: Immigrants are assimilating at much the same rate as past
waves of immigrants.

MYTH: Immigrants are more likely to commit crimes than
U.S. natives.
FACT: Immigrants have a much lower incarceration rate than
U.S. natives.

MYTH: Workers that come to the United States as temporary workers
will stay in the country once their visas expire.
FACT: Historically, migrants from Mexico worked in the United
States for a few months or years, but then returned home.
Border enforcement has made that pattern much more
difficult.

BADA BING

July 5th, 2011
9:06 am

Why aren’t Mexicans protesting in Mexico City, instead of downtown ATL? They can take their country back from the corrupt politicians and drug lords. Why are Hispanics boycotting the All Star Game, while Hispanics are playing in it? Most are honest, hardworking people, why don’t they rebuild Mexico?

poison pen

July 5th, 2011
9:07 am

Bosch

” There are whole neighborhoods that are gone in my neck of the woods….taxpaying working folks who decided to move on…..”

Bosch, Homes in your neighborhood must be extremely dirt cheap if people working for slave labor can afford them and are now leaving, or else you are full of BS…

Peadawg

July 5th, 2011
9:09 am

“but in a federal law that simultaneously tightens laws against hiring of illegal labor while offering those already here amnesty”

Isn’t that what you meant Jay? And the answer to that is no. Thanks for playing.

Richard L

July 5th, 2011
9:10 am

One – the bill is the right thing to do. Anyone here illegally is a criminal, and should be prosecuted, and then deported. Two – businesses should not be punished for hiring an illegal. Its not their job to enforce a law, that is the federal governments (and its a damn shame the states are having to do the federals job). Anyone in the U.S. should be assumed to be here legally, by a private individual. Third – the vast majority of the illegals here are people we want to encourage to come to the U.S. – legally. We need to come up with a much easier way for people to get here legally. These people are incredibly hard working, quite religious, and even as illegals, a real benefit to this country. That doesn’t change the fact that they are criminals when here illegally, and should be deported. It does mean that we really, really need to work out a way to make it much easier for them to get here.

THE TRUTH

July 5th, 2011
9:11 am

RRCC

July 5th, 2011
9:05 am
You make claim to several unqualified items. Where’s the True facts ?

Kevin B

July 5th, 2011
9:11 am

This article is so typical in leaving out a very important point when the issue of illegal aliens performing low-wage, manual labor is discussed. It’s maddening as a reader with some level of intelligence to hear the popular media parrot one another over and over again. The work these illegal workers perform is always said to be undesirable to legal Americans. What should be said is that this work is undesirable to Americans at the low wages paid to perform the kind of work illegal aliens do. What you should be doing Jay, is to stop performing lazy journalism and investigate an industry like agriculture and why it is built upon low wage labor. Is it greed or is it that American agriculture cannot compete with imports if they were to pay higher wages? That’s the kind of in-depth reporting I must turn to other sources to get other than the AJC.

@RRCC July 5th, 2011 9:05 am

July 5th, 2011
9:12 am

Links to support your BS claims?

Doggone/GA

July 5th, 2011
9:15 am

“is to stop performing lazy journalism”

and maybe YOU should learn the difference between an opinion blog and reporting. You want reporting? Go to the AJC reporting pages, NOT the opinion pages.

AmVet

July 5th, 2011
9:15 am

Quit being a racist and then you won’t have to worry about being properly labeled as such, roto rooter.

reyes

July 5th, 2011
9:16 am

THE TRuTH…
I will answer ur question if u answer mine: when was the last you ate chicken?

Call it like it is

July 5th, 2011
9:17 am

“Acres and acres of crops now rotting in the south Georgia”

Interesting just got back from Donalsonville, and did not see any of the acres and acres of rotting crops, unless of course by acres and acres you mean 2. My family has 300 acres, and we have no issues with the labor pool, also same for the farms next to ours. Plenty of “legal” workers wanting to do a fair days work for a fair days wage.

As is typical of the media, they will find the couple of farmers who have modern day slaves and use them as the poster child for how bad its going to be on our farmers.

Doggone/GA

July 5th, 2011
9:18 am

“As is typical of the media, they will find the couple of farmers who have modern day slaves and use them as the poster child for how bad its going to be on our farmers”

“My family has 300 acres, and we have no issues with the labor pool, also same for the farms next to ours”

Aren’t you doing the same thing you accuse Jay of doing?

Kamchak

July 5th, 2011
9:20 am

If they are here illegal, round them up, send them back…

And exactly how much are you willing to spend — on a per head basis — to accomplish this task of rounding ‘em up and shipping ‘em back?

THE TRUTH

July 5th, 2011
9:20 am

Kevin B

July 5th, 2011
9:11 am
You didn’t think Jay would write anything based on true unbiased facts, or no, you did not think Jay could or would investigate anything to find facts. Jay is a parrot as you said to a left leaning paper.

Baby Suggs

July 5th, 2011
9:22 am

Two – businesses should not be punished for hiring an illegal. Its not their job to enforce a law, that is the federal governments (and its a damn shame the states are having to do the federals job). Anyone in the U.S. should be assumed to be here legally, by a private individual.

Oh please! Business is NEVER at fault right? I mean, if it weren’t for Business’ (esp. the ones here in America); we would’ve never heard of such things like salmonella poisoning and e coli.

Curtis Rivers

July 5th, 2011
9:24 am

Thank you, Jay. Those of us working for immigration reform have known the facts for over a decade: that these people are not a drain on our economy, but vital to it. Conservative lawmakers have allowed this issue to become what it is today, and have allowed nativist and hate organizations to shape the debate by using it to unify a base of easily-led people who know little of research, independent thought, and are often driven by emotion rather than by thoughtful logic. Now, we begin to pay the price along with the immigrants caught in this system. Immigration reform is vital to our economic recovery, and to our future, as well as being this generation’s human rights issue in the U.S. Thank you for an honest and straightforward article which shows the only logical and positive way out of the mess these lawmakers have created for political purposes, and at great cost to American citizens and immigrants.

poison pen

July 5th, 2011
9:24 am

Has anybody kept count as to how many times Jay & Tucker have written about ILLEGALS?
How about GLOBAL WARMING?

AmVet

July 5th, 2011
9:25 am

“You didn’t think Jay “the truth” would write “refudiate” or countermand anything based on true unbiased facts…

LOL, like that is possible…

reyes

July 5th, 2011
9:25 am

Call it like it is

Quit being self-righteous, only someone as ignorant as u would believe that there are no illegals in ur farm, I bet I can go in there and find at least five or six

Kamchak

July 5th, 2011
9:25 am

MYTH: Immigrants drive down the wages of American workers.
FACT: Immigrants increase overall economic productivity and have no
significant effect on overall wages for American workers.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Moderate Line

July 5th, 2011
9:25 am

For example, do illegal immigrants perform labor that most Georgians are unwilling or even unable to do? The once contentious question now has an answer: Yes, in many cases they do.
++++
Over and over we have heard that if a Republicans state that people on unemployment have no incentive to seek work that the Republicans are also insinuating that the unemployed are unemployed because they are lazy.

But in an area where the unemployment is 12% according to the Georgia Deparment of Labor we have Jay insinuating thee unemployed in this area is unwilling to accomplish these jobs. Is Jay insinuating that these people are lazy and would rather collect unemployment than be gainfully unemployed.

You can’t have it both ways. Making one argument when you want unemployment insurance extended and another argument when promoting the interest of illegal immigrants.

http://www.dol.state.ga.us/pdf/pr/lf_altamaha.pdf

THE TRUTH

July 5th, 2011
9:26 am

reyes

July 5th, 2011
9:16 am
Your point makes no sense, first I nor anyone else with intelligence will stop eating just because you claim you and Julio are killing and cutting up the chickens we eat.

poison pen

July 5th, 2011
9:27 am

Curtis Rivers,
” Now, we begin to pay the price along with the immigrants caught in this system.”

I think you meant ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS, please get your facts straight.

godless heathen

July 5th, 2011
9:27 am

“mute testament to that fact that agricultural labor is hard, and that most people in Western industrialized countries don’t want to do it.”

My job is hard and i don’t want to do it. But I do it instead of living off the labors of others.

Baby Suggs

July 5th, 2011
9:28 am

Conservative lawmakers have allowed this issue to become what it is today, and have allowed nativist and hate organizations to shape the debate by using it to unify a base of easily-led people who know little of research, independent thought, and are often driven by emotion rather than by thoughtful logic.

Say it ain’t so!!!

AmVet

July 5th, 2011
9:28 am

“Two – businesses should not be punished held accountable to the rule of law for hiring an illegal. Its not their job to enforce obey a law…”

Moderate Line

July 5th, 2011
9:29 am

Kamchak

July 5th, 2011
9:25 am
MYTH: Immigrants drive down the wages of American workers.
FACT: Immigrants increase overall economic productivity and have no
significant effect on overall wages for American workers.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
++++
Please provide references.

THE TRUTH

July 5th, 2011
9:30 am

Amvet (NOT) HOW MANY TIMES ARE YOU GOING TO GET IN ON SOMETHING YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT ? Like telling the truth, we’ve exposed you over and over again.

Bosch

July 5th, 2011
9:30 am

poison pen,

Well, the Rapture didn’t happen, so I’m guessing people left because they do not want to live in an “unfriendly to them” State.

Doggone/GA

July 5th, 2011
9:31 am

“But I do it instead of living off the labors of others.”

But you DO live off the labor of others. The labor of those who harvest and process the food you eat, the home you live in, the cars you drive, the clothing you wear, the furniture you lounge and sleep in. The roads you drive one, the entertainment venues you frequent, the clean air you breathe.

No man is an island.

[...] Bookman, columnist for the Atlanta Journal Constitution says that Georgia’s new anti-immigrant law has exposed the hypocrisy in the state’s [...]

AmVet

July 5th, 2011
9:33 am

We?

Just how many gerbils do you keep in your pockets?

Or are they your imaginary friends.

And why do you hate the troops?

LOL…

Baby Suggs

July 5th, 2011
9:33 am

But in an area where the unemployment is 12% according to the Georgia Deparment of Labor we have Jay insinuating thee unemployed in this area is unwilling to accomplish these jobs. Is Jay insinuating that these people are lazy and would rather collect unemployment than be gainfully unemployed.

If someone has a degree in Computer Engineering and is used to making $35/hour; why would they go out and apply for a job (in the hot sun) that pays them $10/hour? If they wanted to make that type of wage, they could apply for a job at WalMart as a greeter — at least it has air conditioning and benefits.

Baby Suggs

July 5th, 2011
9:34 am

Forgot to add WalMart has A/C and a chance to advance. No advancement in picking tomatoes in the hot sun.

godless heathen

July 5th, 2011
9:35 am

Doggone,

Not for free.

SOUTHERN ATL

July 5th, 2011
9:36 am

Jay, this is one of the best articles that you have ever written!!! Nice work!!!

Doggone/GA

July 5th, 2011
9:36 am

“Not for free”

Care to expand on that? It doesn’t seem to make any sense.

reyes

July 5th, 2011
9:37 am

The truth,
If u actually had intelligence u would understand that what I say is not a claim but a TRUTH! Really, why must u continually fool yourselves? I indeed work for a poultry plant, as a production supervisor, I have no decision on who gets hired, but the racist rednex in the office continue sending me illegals and giving unemployment verifications to the rednex that apply, clearly white trash knows white trash is just that

Kamchak

July 5th, 2011
9:37 am

Please provide references.

I spent over thirty years in the new home construction biz. I have first hand experience with builders not accepting bids from sub-contractors and telling us, “If you won’t do the job for $x, then we can find Mexicans that will.”

Southern Comfort

July 5th, 2011
9:38 am

Doggone

I think he’s trying to say that he’s not freeloading off the work of others…

AmVet

July 5th, 2011
9:40 am

Neo-cons operate on little more than hurt feelings and hyper-emotionalism.

As a rule, they are not practical, pragmatic, informed or reasonable.

Want proof?

Ask any one of them here, how to *effectively* deal with this illegal immigrant problem.

The harebrained “‘answers” are generally hysterical, or not forthcoming…

Doggone/GA

July 5th, 2011
9:40 am

“I think he’s trying to say that he’s not freeloading off the work of others”

and neither are those who work in our fields and factories, whether they are illegal or not.

THE TRUTH

July 5th, 2011
9:40 am

Amvet (not) when did I ever say or do ANYTHING related to hating the troops ?
You do a disservice to our troops with your false claims.
You make all these claims and call everyone names when they don’t have believe in your socialist ways, you provide no proof because you CAN NOT.

Southern Comfort

July 5th, 2011
9:42 am

and neither are those who work in our fields and factories, whether they are illegal or not.

You know that and I know that, but I don’t think it’s quite as common knowledge as we perceive.

godless heathen

July 5th, 2011
9:43 am

“Care to expand on that? It doesn’t seem to make any sense.”

Paying for goods and services a foreign concept to you?

Doggone/GA

July 5th, 2011
9:44 am

“You know that and I know that, but I don’t think it’s quite as common knowledge as we perceive.”

AMEN to that!

THE TRUTH

July 5th, 2011
9:46 am

Everyone wait for it the Great Amvet (NOT) knows the answer to the illegal immigrant issue, no one but he can think like he does.