Your morning jolt: Shifting from stick to carrot on illegal immigration

With the Legislature leaving early for a 10-day break, illegal immigration is one of those issues left in the lurch.

HB 87 failed to reach the Senate floor for a vote, after substantial committee changes. Which means no conference committee action is possible until the General Assembly returns on April 11.

But signs have been tossed around this week, indicating that we may be headed toward a resolution of the debate’s trickiest proposition.

The argument in the state Capitol has never focused on giving local law enforcement the power to ask for proof of U.S. citizenship. That has always been a given among the Republican lawmakers in charge.

The meat of the conflict has been over how to bring pressure on Georgia businesses to stop hiring illegal immigration. Agricultural concerns have all but said that crops won’t be able to make it out of the field without that cheap and plentiful labor force.

HB 87 originally contained penalties for businesses that don’t enroll in the federal E-Verify program, which ascertains whether a potential hire is a legal U.S. resident. A Senate version originally required businesses to use E-Verify, but included no penalties.

But when the Senate Judiciary Committee made its changes to HB 87 this week, my AJC colleague Jeremy Redmon caught this:

The committee added a provision that says employers would not be eligible for certain state income tax breaks unless they use a federal work authorization program called E-Verify.

A business – or a farm — wouldn’t be forced to close if it chooses not to screen its workers, but it would take a tax hit. An incentive to comply, rather than a directive.

Another hint came from Gov. Nathan Deal who, in a quick interview this week with Denis O’Hayer of WABE (90.1FM), addressed federal programs to bring in foreign workers. Said Deal:

”I’ve always maintained that the state of Georgia, like many states, could use a very good guest worker program.

Unfortunately, that has not been forthcoming from Congress, and it is something that only Congress can initiate. States don’t have the authority to do that, because we don’t control the ultimate issue of [the] right to enter this country.

“So I will be one of those who will continue to urge those at the federal level to pass a meaningful guest worker program that would help the concerns of our agriculture community in the state of Georgia.”

O’Hayer asked if Deal thought the H-2 visa program now in place works. Replied the governor:

“The H-2B is a quota system, and the quota is rapidly consumed. The H-2A program has become very difficult and cumbersome, and for small producers is not really an effective program for them, because of all the complications and requirements of the program…”

One could interpret the governor’s remarks as saying that current federal worker programs can’t supply the labor needed by Georgia farmers if the state adopts a hard-fisted approach.

O’Hayer also interviewed illegal immigration activist D.A. King, who said this:

”The concept that the H-2A visa is somehow inconvenient for the farmers in south Georgia really means it’s too expensive to hire legal labor in Georgia….I am astounded at the governor’s remarks. We have plenty of guest workers in this country.”

On a related note, immigration lawyer Charles Kuck, who calls himself the “token Republican” on the governing board of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, has been reading through illegal immigration legislation now lodged in the House.

Kuck says he’s found a new provision that he says would permit those convicted of harboring or transporting illegal aliens to be convicted on hearsay evidence. Check it out here.

***
You know that, as Wednesday ended, House Speaker David Ralston called on the Senate to resolve its leadership crisis, which he said was jeopardizing crucial work in the state Capitol.

What was missing was the response from the other side of the building. Through a spokeswoman, Senate President pro tem Tommie Williams and Majority Leader Chip Rogers – to whom Ralston apparently referred when calling for an end to the “little experiment” — declined to comment.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, the beneficiary of the speaker’s remarks, said this:

“The Speaker’s sentiment is certainly felt by many under the Gold Dome and across the state. The only issue that is truly important is the people’s business and anything that gets in the way of that is an unfortunate distraction.”

***
When the Legislature returns, look for the nuclear disaster in Japan to become a topic. From the Associated Press:

The struggle to prevent a full meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in Japan comes at a bad time for the subsidiary of the Atlanta-based Southern Co., which has been on the verge of securing permission to build two more nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle in eastern Georgia. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is expected to make a final decision on the project later this year.

But the accident prompted questions about nuclear safety and financial risks from state officials — including those who have been firm supporters of expanding nuclear power.

“With the events that happened in Japan, it seems like the risk of (cost) overruns has increased,” Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols told the company during a meeting.

State lawmakers have asked a Southern Co. executive to testify before the House Energy Committee about the safety of its two nuclear plants in Georgia. The hearing, originally set for Thursday, was delayed until April 13. Rep. Don Parsons, the committee chair, said he doesn’t have specific safety concerns but expected his colleagues will want to ask about plant security plans and preparedness for natural disasters.

“It just has to do with what’s going on in Japan,” Parsons said. “It either has raised or might raise questions from people in Georgia.”

***
On the same topic, AJC’s Politifact today looks at U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson’s statement that nuclear power mishaps have yet to claim a single life.

***
The University of Georgia will honor two reporters who were held captive in North Korea for 140 days in 2009. From the Associated Press:

Laura Ling and Euna Lee will receive the McGill Medal for Journalistic Courage on April 20 in Athens. The medal is named for Ralph McGill, the editor and publisher of the Atlanta Constitution who challenged racial segregation in the 1950s and ’60s.

The duo traveled to China for Current TV to report on the trafficking of North Korean women. They were detained by North Korean officials along a border with China before being granted a special pardon after former President Bill Clinton intervened on their behalf.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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85 comments Add your comment

TrishaDishaWarEagle

April 1st, 2011
9:29 am

I want to test the AG concerns hypothesis. Will their crops rot in the fields, or will they pay a slightly higher wage and south GA teenagers will have summer jobs..

PASS HB87 , REINSTALL the house provisions in committee..and lets find out

catt11daddy

April 1st, 2011
9:38 am

Once again a elected representaive changing what got them into office, Mr. Deal, very dissapointed with your stance on illegal immigration after you ran on enforcing immigration laws.
You tricked us once ,but you won’t again ,many Georgians are tired of elected representaives being bought by lobbyist, in this case the farmers who get millions in goverment funds, what did they do prior to illegals,? they hired Americans.

Last Man Standing

April 1st, 2011
9:50 am

“Agricultural concerns have all but said that crops won’t be able to make it out of the field without that cheap and plentiful labor force.”

Trisha has a valid point. I would add that, with all the subsidies, the farmers can afford to pay a higher wage to obtain a legal work force.

Hey, you! Yeah, up there under that gold dome! Pass meaningful legislation with regard to illegal aliens! If you don’t, the voters are going to remember it when you run for re-election.

. . . and while I’m at it, how about y’all quit playing “King of the Hill” and get to work!

Aquagirl

April 1st, 2011
9:50 am

Hey, Republican voters—you got fooled AGAIN. Next election season we’ll hear the same blah, blah, blah about cutting taxes and busting illegal immigrants. You’ll get another dog and pony show from the legislature. Some people never learn.

Michael

April 1st, 2011
9:52 am

catt11daddy, I appreciate that you think the people of Georgia won’t be tricked again. All the Governor will have to do is trot out a fear campaign on illegal gay transvestite aliens, and BAM… He’ll be back in office with a 20 point margin.

Mind you, I am not a Governor Deal fan, and I support amnesty as well as marriage equality for everyone. I’m just saying, you have too much faith in the people of Georgia. They knew ALL about his shady past, and yet, they elected him the first time. What did you expect him to do? Be honorable once in office?

Common Cause GA

April 1st, 2011
9:58 am

We’ll be following how the utility co. is trying to get the citizens of Georgia to shoulder the increased costs of the proposed nuclear reactors, at http://www.CommonCauseGA.org and http://www.facebook.com/CommonCauseGeorgia

Clinton "Skink" Tyree

April 1st, 2011
10:05 am

I’ve been watching Georgia politics for over 50 years and all that comes from under the golden dome is BS. And, if BS was music, the state legislature would be a brass band.

The only thing that’s changed over the years is that the relative IQ of the politicians seems to be substantially lower.

And, for that you can blame the voters who are even dumber.

AmericanPieHole

April 1st, 2011
10:12 am

“how to bring pressure on Georgia businesses” Here is how Enforce our laws! Increase the fines to amounts that would out way the risk. The correct reasoning to the illegal alien problem was best articulated by Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff. In one of his first interviews he was asked how would he stop illegal immigration his response was candid, “seek them out, apprehend them, prosecute them, confiscate their wealth and deport them”. If we start enforcing the law the problem would soon go away and everyone would benefit except those that are scamming the system.

cs

April 1st, 2011
10:13 am

From blueberries to pinestarw rakers to ditch diggers.highway workers, no speaka english types runneth over South ga.

Throw their arses out and severely penalize the farmers and businesses who exploit them, us, and drive down wages!

Double Zero Eight

April 1st, 2011
10:26 am

“I told you so.”
The republicans know that they can count
on the majority of the voters to forget the
promises for the past election, by the next election.
It seems to work every time.

cs

April 1st, 2011
10:27 am

Being Ralston and Cagle are distractions, I guess they should resign.

Road Scholar

April 1st, 2011
10:42 am

Is the current session being compared to the nuclear disaster?

eatmotacos

April 1st, 2011
10:50 am

One more time. Take the time to go to ethics.georgia.gov – Click on “search records”, at the top of the page. Under “Search Report Type”, on the left, click on “Campaign Reports”. On the left under “Search Campaign”, click “By Contribution” Just fill in the space for “Candidate Name”, second from the bottom, type in “Deal” and click. The first thing you will notice under the “Pac Affiliation/Occupation/Employer” column, is all of the “Information Requested” posts, instead of the names.

Especially interesting, is the amount of contributions from the state’s largest employers of “immigrants” – Mohawk Carpets, Fieldale Farms, and the numbers of contributions from the owners’ families – Hatfields and Arrendales for Fieldale, Lorberbaum for Mohawk. You can also fill in the “Contributor Name” or “Employer” and “Candidate Name” Deal, if you don’t want to go through the whole list.

Deal’s partner’s family, in the Gainesville auto salvage business, “Cronan” under “Contributor Name”, and Deal under “Candidate Name”, is interesting.

Keep in mind that this is the above the board activity. This should answer all of the questions that you have about Deal’s motives.

dan

April 1st, 2011
10:51 am

what is the latest on the sunday liquor sales??!!

dmcsga

April 1st, 2011
10:53 am

TrishaDishaWarEagle: I am pretty sure that’s what all of the banks said when they started making these sub-prime loans to people that couldn’t afford them – let’s find out and see. Now our entire country is crying and wanted bail outs.

I rather deal with illegal immigrants than giving these obnoxious banks and companies $700 billion bail outs or even funding all these wars that have no end. But yes, right, that money doesn’t burden us.

findog

April 1st, 2011
11:03 am

I love Cagle’s circular logic: anything that gets in the way of the people’s business is an unfortunate distraction; yet everything these politicians propose as the people’s business is unfortunate

The Japan problem was that the backup generators were located in an area that could be inundated by a tsunami, which would never, ever happen here; like those people in Cobb, Douglas, Fulton, and Gwinnett county living in subdivisions that would never, ever get flooded. So if the chair of the house energy committee doesn’t have any concerns about safety his hearing is nothing more than CYA

Those two reporters should also get the prize for journalistic stupidity

Halibut

April 1st, 2011
11:06 am

”I’ve always maintained that the state of Georgia, like many states, could use a very good guest worker program.”
The guest worker programs are fine. The problem is that the feds don’t enforce them. Workers come to work in the fields, take off, and the feds don’t give a damn. More guest workers come, and the cycle continues. Neither the workers themselves nor the farmers are held accountable. The only way ANY guest worker program will work, is to enforce the law.

findog

April 1st, 2011
11:09 am

Trish and LMS,
The real issue is not the crops in the field
It is the construction and chicken plant workers who either have depressed wages or no wages because of the employment of people here illegally
This crops in the field cr@p is just an unfortunate political misdirection act to try and hold off meaningful reform
Keep their feet to the fire or nothing of consequence will change to the status quo

Centrist

April 1st, 2011
11:10 am

Farmers should NOT get tax breaks if they don’t use legal workers. They either figure the loss of the tax break, or the increased cost of hiring legal workers. Cheaters should be prosecuted, and like the IRS – random checks will discourage cheating. If this leads to increased farm produce prices, it is a fair market solution, and should open up some job opportunities to our nearly 10% unemployed. It sounds like a very good solution.

cary

April 1st, 2011
11:12 am

Trisha, what planet are you living on? Teenagers are not going to pick onions in the summertime. Hopefully enough legislators will care about the economy that they will pass a reasonable immigration law that does not destroy agricultural business and the industrial and hospitality industries.

And by the way, instead of trying to fight healthcare reform, why isn’t our legislature doing what they are doing in Oregon and Vermont and coming up with a healthcare bill that they can live with. After all, Obama has told the governors they can develop their own plans.

Why hasn’t the legislature not done anything about jobs???

eatmotacos

April 1st, 2011
11:20 am

To clarify D.A. King’s statement about H-2A Visas –

The employer must provide free housing to all workers who are not reasonably able to return to their homes or residences the same day.

The employer must either provide three meals a day to each of the workers or furnish free and convenient cooking and kitchen for workers to prepare and cook their own meals

The wage or rate of pay must be the same for U.S. workers and H-2A workers. The hourly rate must also be at least as high as the applicable Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR),[6] federal or state minimum wage.

The employer must provide free transportation to the worker between the employer’s housing and the area of work. And upon completion of the work contract, the employer must pay the costs of a worker’s subsistence and transportation back to the place of recruitment.

If the employers uses illegal alien labor, none of the above applies. It shifts the cost from the employers to the taxpayers, not to mention the fact that it is violating federal laws. If you believe that they are passing their savings on to the consumer, you will also believe that there is a shortage of H2 Visa workers, and that the politicians are looking out for YOUR best interest.

AmericanPieHole

April 1st, 2011
11:28 am

Cheep labor and votes what else do you need to know?

Farmers are the worst of the lot. They are the biggest cry babies and to stupid to know any better. You would think by this 21st century they would be more automated and therefore they would not need slaves but that is not the case. They love illegal aliens because it is the next best thing to slavery. Poor farmers, hardly! They are land rich and hoard wealth. They poison our ground and us they cry when the sun is out and cry when it rains. We should plant them in the ground and get smarter people to grow our food. Farmer are only smart when it comes to greed.

Cobb Woman of Color

April 1st, 2011
11:39 am

I am just disgusted by the lack of a backbone by the legislators from the federal level to the local level. We are trying to please people who came to the country “illegally”.

Let’s form an “American” party…one that puts Americans first…

PEACE RIGHTS FREEDOM (ALICIA)

April 1st, 2011
11:40 am

They need to think long and hard what these Anti-Immigrant legislation including HB 87 and SB 40 will do to Ga. Any legislation that pushes immigrant workers out of Ga. or denies educational opportunity, will harm our state economically and morally. It is racist. As a Georgia resident, born and raise in a small town and a business owner I urge Gov. Deal to veto the bills. call 4046561776. Write a letter FAX 4046577332. THE UNITED STATES STANDS FOR FREEDOM. WE HAVE COME ALONG WAYS AND GOT ALONG WAYS TO GO. Do not let them blame the state of the economy on the immigrants, that would be a lie.

Mike

April 1st, 2011
11:43 am

So when are they going to vote on Sunday sales? They were suppose to vote this week and well, it’s Friday…

I hate these morons in GA.

PEACE RIGHTS FREEDOM (ALICIA)

April 1st, 2011
11:51 am

I would like to know that to. I think they voted to let each city or county to have the voters to decide if they want to allow it in there county. My county is a dry county. We have been working to get this law change. It would bring a boost in our economy. And would help the small business owners as well if they do not go up on the fees that it cost to get a license. But if I hear different I will post it.

linda faye

April 1st, 2011
11:53 am

Alicia, of course, it’s racist. To hell with what’s economically feasible and morally right, let’s get rid of “those Mexicans.” These people came here because we brought them here. If anything, we need to be punishing the employers, not the immigrants who came looking for a better life.

majii

April 1st, 2011
11:59 am

Why is anyone listening to Deal? When President George W. Bush wanted to address the issue of immigration reform back in 2006, the members of his OWN party in Congress at the time, BAILED on him. The members of Congress that refused to work with President Bush should just shut up and stop complaining. It’s not the federal government’s fault that immigration reform hasn’t been addressed. It’s the fault of politicians in Congress who lacked the political will to DO it. The same problem still exists in Congress in 2011.

td

April 1st, 2011
12:01 pm

PEACE RIGHTS FREEDOM (ALICIA)

April 1st, 2011
11:40 am

This bill is not a great bill but it is an improvement to stop ILLEGAL immigrants from working for cheap wages, depressing the wages of legal immigrants and citizens, and stop the drain of the tax payers paying for government services for people that are not in this state and country legally.

With the way you have wrote you post you must be a open boarders freak. I encourage everyone to us the information provided and flood the lines to tell Gov Deal to support a stronger bill and to stop the flood of ILLEGAL immigrants into this state.

yuzeyurbrane

April 1st, 2011
12:35 pm

Sorry TeaParty, you’ve been had. The fix is in on illegals. The tough provision on employment will be neutered and you will be left with emotion pleasing but irrelevant to the problem racist demogogic provisions re profiling. Big Republican donors (read agribusiness) will be happy.

Richard

April 1st, 2011
12:41 pm

Governor Deal, thank you for your correct and courageous comments on this issue. Georgia cannot afford to become another Arizona, which has lost hundreds of millions in convention business as well as foreign business investment due a closed minded approach as to immigration. A little sanity on this subject will go a long way with the business community and will help the economy of Georgia. Please indicate your intention to veto this bill. Also, be aware that Utah has very wisely included in proposed legsilation a state level guest worker program. Georgia should do the same until the Federal government addresses this issue.

cs

April 1st, 2011
12:58 pm

Isn’t this sad????

Illegal immigrants are boycotting Arizona by the thousands, showing their outrage with Arizona ’s controversial new SB-1070 law by moving elsewhere.

In the small town of Guadalupe, AZ, south of Phoenix , Manuel Renaldo is one of those who is punishing Arizona by leaving. As he loaded his stolen car with his belongings and family of ten, Renaldo told this reporter through an interpreter “It’s a matter of principle. I refuse to be supported by a state that treats me like a criminal.”

The effects of the exodus are being felt by Arizona retailers who are reporting dwindling thefts of beer, spray paint, and ammunition. Also hit hard are the state’s hospitals, which have reported a dramatic decline in births and emergency room visits. Tattoo parlors are in a state of panic.

Renaldo told a reporter through an interpreter “He and his family are moving to California, which is a state that will support him and his family with dignity.”

The Centrist

April 1st, 2011
1:14 pm

td…You are right if you assume that the conservative’s bill is an “improvement to stop ILLEGAL immigrants from WORKING for cheap wages?” The goal of liberals was to keep companies and individuals from “PAYING” really cheap wages. But we know that companies hiring illegals because minimum wage is not sufficient financial incentive to get those worthless-lazy-liberal folks in South and North Georgia to work in explosive sugar plants, ag fields and chicken farms for a living.

The Centrist

April 1st, 2011
1:19 pm

cs…Thank you copying and pasting the funny Manuel Renaldo story. So why didn’t the interviewer call the police?

Concerned Georgia

April 1st, 2011
1:28 pm

I for one can understand the seasonal Ag employers needing this labor. Not only is the work temporary in nature but it offers a very low ceiling to any American looking for long term productive and consistent employment. It is not in our nation’s best interest to have a nomadic workforce or being forced into importing all of our food.

However, the other industries such as Manufacturing, Leisure and Hospitality, and Construction do offer long term employment not strictly dependent upon weather and seasons. I know they do not want to sign into law a patchwork bill but I can see where Ag should be exempt or have less restrictions than other industries.

The federal and state governments need to address federal assistance programs or there is no incentive to get out and work for many. Not all people but many people have no incentive to work. It was never our given right to only work 40 hours and not have to do manual labor. Nor was is it our right as Americans to simply be born here and then taken care of for the duration of our existence.

Ray

April 1st, 2011
1:34 pm

What a joke, the businesses that illegally use cheap foreign want to be sure they can keep doing so, without paying any penalties after the so called immigration bill is passed.
Don’t tell me this state wants to do anything about the dreadful illegal immigrant problem we have. The legislators are just pretending.

Ray

April 1st, 2011
1:36 pm

Correction: What a joke, the businesses that illegally use cheap foreign labor want to be sure they can keep doing so, without paying any penalties after the so called immigration bill is passed.
Don’t tell me this state wants to do anything about the dreadful illegal immigrant problem we have. The legislators are just pretending.

PEACE RIGHTS FREEDOM (ALICIA)

April 1st, 2011
1:57 pm

I really do not see how someone else is paying their bills. they do not get medical asst. ins., do not get unemployment, if you are legal or not taxes come out of your check, social security comes out. I know people that had to pay cash up front before they could have their baby and them in labor. not just one time. I know of many times something like this has happen. Also they do not get foodstamps. for their self if can not prove their here legal. no the problem is racist. The problem is not having human rights. The problem is people saying their taking their job. that is a flat out lie. go sit at the unemployment office. just see how many is really looking for a job. I am sure if someone wants to work in the fields their is room. But know” PEOPLE THINK THEY ARE TO GOOD FOR IT. I know that for a fact. I have tenants I know who works, who wants to work, and who”s excuse I will hear this month. I see many that try”s and many that just do not care. I look at it this way if they work and they are paying their bills and they are putting money in this ecom. What is the deal .People got to have some one to blame. Try living one day in someone else shoes. Most people could not. Hard work is what makes a person in this world now. If you want it you got to work hard for it and that is what they are doing.

Intown

April 1st, 2011
2:01 pm

When the article headline said “carrot” I thought the General ASsembly may have seen the light and sought to encourage immigrants to come to America. Alas, they continue to attack them, weakening our economy and our Republic.

PEACE RIGHTS FREEDOM (ALICIA)

April 1st, 2011
2:11 pm

I am not giving a sad story I am speaking as I see. I really wish the Gov. would take one day put on their working cloths and get out their in the fields, or company’s and work with these guys. And they would learn a lot. Sitting at a desk in dress cloths scared to get a little dirt on your hands is not the real world. One day I seen a elected off. pick up a shovel and to me he was not working it was for photos. Now I know one that would put on his over hauls get out their and work with is guys. I do not care what his workers was doing he would be out their with them. You know he made a difference. He had a close knit community and everyone worked together no matter what it was. You know why he was a people person and people were people no matter what your color was.

[...] Read more at: Blogs.AJC.com, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Your morning jolt: Shifting from stick to ca… [...]

Last Man Standing

April 1st, 2011
2:21 pm

PEACE RIGHTS FREEDOM (ALICIA):

“It is racist.”

That is BS – and you know it. Also, your use of the term “Anti-Immigrant” is false. Race has nothing to do with this issue, but I do understand the “open borders” people trying to label it as such. We aren’t talking “Anti-Immigrant” legislation, but rather anti-illegal immigration – and you know that, too. Your post is an ill-disguised blatant lie, and you know that, too.

How do you defend allowing illegal immigration to the legal immigrants?

PS: It is not the responsibility of the citizens to pay for educating illegal aliens.

taxpayingfarmer

April 1st, 2011
2:59 pm

I’m a farmer and agribusiness owner. Let me dispel some myths for my fellow Georgians.

1) Workers don’t pay taxes.

Actually they do. SS as well as medicare, at a minimum. They also spend a majority of their money locally (anyone who has been to Wal Mart in Douglas, Moultrie, Vidalia, etc can testify to this) and thus pay sales tax, as opposed to wiring it to Mejico to support family members. Employers match the SS tax, as per usual with a normal worker. Illegals (as opposed to legals) also don’t file tax returns — so they don’t get earned income tax credit back. It is estimated that the US takes in some $8 billion in revenues from undocumented workers, while the cost of indigant care, incarceration and education is estimated at round $4.5 Billion. Net gain: taxpayers. This isn’t meant to be a moral argument, sticking to the numbers here.

2) Illegals are paid low wages.

Again, false. The average for a productive “migrant” picking fruit is somewhere between $100 and $200 per day, with housing to boot. Employers freely accept applications from anyone — fact is, Americans are subsidized to the point where they don’t have to work. Our government has killed the labor supply, it’s not farmers or businesses that are undercutting it.

3) Farmers are getting rich from govt subsidies.

False. Cotton, corn, peanuts are equipment intensive crops — but not labor intensive. 2 men can tend 1,000 acres easily. That’s mostly done by us gringos, and that’s where the USDA payment money goes. But that’s another argument and one we can take up when the time comes. It’s fruits, vegetables and specialties like pinestraw that rely on hand labor. They don’t get subsidies, aside from crop insurance in a minority of cases which is designed to be break-even for the govt.

4) This is a problem that Georgia can solve alone.

False. We can however destroy our state’s economy. Georgia is fortunate to have a strong Ag sector that is worth over $60 billion annually. Read: something other than service-based (lawyers, accountants, educators, govt employees), we actually produce something that is sold, bringing money INTO our state, much of the time from OUTSIDE the country. We know Florida will remain migrant-friendly due to demographics. The question is how many states will migrants have to skip in order to find another job that pays them $200/day on their way to Maine? And how much will our economy suffer? Particularly below the Macon.

We all agree that something needs to happen. And that is a study on the economic impact. We can then take that information and arm ourselves as we ask our friends in Washington DC to do something meaningful. But cutting off our noses to spite our collective face is not the answer.

bartlebee

April 1st, 2011
3:47 pm

Alicia, you are spewing La Raza talking points. HB 87 and SB 40 are not anti-immigrant. They are anti-ILLEGAL immigrant. And they are not racist. Neither HB 87 or SB 40 mention any race. Illegal alien is not a race, and not all illegal aliens are of the same race.

HL

April 1st, 2011
3:54 pm

April fools!

TrishaDishaWarEagle

April 1st, 2011
4:10 pm

@taxpayingfarmer..

“It is estimated that the US takes in some $8 billion in revenues from undocumented workers, while the cost of indigant care, incarceration and education is estimated at round $4.5 Billion” Your numbers are wholesale OFF there…

During April 2006, Standard & Poor’s analysts wrote: “Local school districts are estimated to educate 1.8 million undocumented children(my note..the recent gov numbers shows the total # of illegals down slightly , but the number of little taquitos enrolled in public education at an all time high.) At an average annual cost of $7,500 (averages vary by jurisdiction) per student, the cost of providing education to these children is about $11.2 billion

The Center for Immigration Studies reported in 2004: “Households headed by illegal aliens imposed more than $26.3 billion in costs on the federal government in 2002 and paid only $16 billion in taxes, creating a net fiscal deficit of almost $10.4 billion, or $2,700 per illegal household

No way around it, the illegals cost me, you, and the brain dead idiot liberals, money from our pocket. And not a one of them is worth money to me..neither are 99.99999% of legal citizens.

yuzeyurbrane

April 1st, 2011
4:27 pm

Taxpayingfarmer, nice to read an intelligent blog for a change. I agree with a lot of your points but disagree on some: (1) taxes–actually you underestimated the tax benefits since illegals never collect the Social Security benefits they have earned. This certainly helps the viability of SS Trust Fund but there is a morality Q here. And the expensive ER health care we give them won’t be changed by new Healthcare law because illegals aren’t eligible; (2) low wages–do you pay your workers directly or through labor contractors? I know it doesn’t make a difference to your cost but you know it makes a big difference as to what ends up in a worker’s pocket. I’d also ask how many hrs. a day they work and if your numbers are based on hourly wages or piece rate? Piece rate can lead to big disparities based on how young and fit the worker is v. old and slow. Also, this is usually seasonal work so some sort of bonus is warranted to get these workers through the non-harvest downtimes. True that a living wage would push the overhead up for hand-crop farmers in particular but if everyone were paying it then it could generally be passed on to consumer who has already ability to handle price increases due to fuel, etc. charges. I also think the case has never really been made that American workers, especially in this economy, would not respond if decent wages and conditions were offered. Granted, even then, some farmers might not be able to survive but isn’t this what free mkt. is about? No guarantees.; (3) farm subsidies–I agree but they should be eliminated, period. Also, many farmers in labor intense crops have longterm contracts with companies like Birdseye which provide them seeds, fertilizer, financing and a guaranteed mkt. so they really have very little risk; and, (4) Ga. should not act alone–Ga. can’t do everything but it can do something and those things it can do it should. No more studies are needed. The issues have probably been generating studies since at least the 1930’s. Let’s get decent paying American jobs for Americans.

td

April 1st, 2011
4:31 pm

The Centrist

April 1st, 2011
1:14 pm

I probably should have said “small improvement”. I think the bill is far from perfect and companies not using e-verify should pay big fines first offense and corporate executives arrested on second offense.

td

April 1st, 2011
4:37 pm

Concerned Georgia

April 1st, 2011
1:28 pm

“The federal and state governments need to address federal assistance programs or there is no incentive to get out and work for many. Not all people but many people have no incentive to work. It was never our given right to only work 40 hours and not have to do manual labor. Nor was is it our right as Americans to simply be born here and then taken care of for the duration of our existence”

Amen.

After reading all these whinny college students gripping about the change in Hope the past few weeks, I think we should offer them the chance to get the full hope back by working in these ag jobs over the summers and having the farmers paying for the difference. Solves two problems at one time and we will not need the illegals any longer.