In defense of illegal immigrant labor

In defense of illegal immigrant labor
  • 1188
  • 115
  • 6

My Recent Posts

Following an immigration crackdown, I overhead strawberry farmer say “In my thirty years, I’ve never left fruit on the vine until now.”  He was chatting with a few other farmers and they were complaining about the difficulty of finding labor.  What he means is that the cost to pick strawberries is greater than the value of strawberries.  What alternative does a farmer have than to leave the fruit on the vine?


Despite this farmer’s troubles, it just so happens we’re the largest strawberry producing country in the world.  In being the world’s leader, there are many high paying jobs in the strawberry industry that legal residents fill such as trucking, marketing, management, sales, warehousing, etc.  Not to mention the economic benefits we receive when we export strawberries versus if we had to import strawberries.  All of this is made possible thanks to the strawberry industry’s access to cheap illegal immigrant labor.  And don’t for one second think the strawberry industry is the only industry which depends on illegal immigrants for its existence.


Furthermore, because illegal immigrants work for less, the products and services we consume cost less.  That means we all enjoy a higher standard of living than if we didn’t have access to their labor.


Please keep in mind, I’m not advocating legalizing illegal immigrants, opening our borders or deporting illegal immigrants. I’m arguing that the status quo is a mutually beneficial relationship.  Americans get access to cheap labor and all its benefits and illegal immigrants get a chance at a better life.


George N Romey Added Feb 12, 2018 - 2:41pm
Yes and those laborers then need lots of social services as they tend TO HAVE MANY CHILDREN? So do you want to pay for their needs while the Wal Marts of the world get cheap produce?
Phil Greenough Added Feb 12, 2018 - 3:02pm
Yes and those laborers then need lots of social services as they tend TO HAVE MANY CHILDREN?
The biggest users of social services are the elderly. Illegal immigrants don’t even qualify for the same social services afforded to you and I. Not to mention the fact many illegals work under false social security numbers meaning they pay for benefits they aren’t entitled to receive.
So do you want to pay for their needs while the Wal Marts of the world get cheap produce?
No. The math works as follows: illegal immigrant provides for himself by picking strawberries.  Walmart sells us cheap strawberries.  The strawberry industry provides good ancillary strawberry jobs for many American Citizens. It’s a win, win, win arrangement. 
Dave Volek Added Feb 12, 2018 - 3:17pm
This a great article that really summarizes why there are so many illegal immigrants in the USA.  The American economy will change greatly if the immigrants are sent back. I even heard that much of the rebuilding in Houston and Florida is being done by illegal immigrants because they are quite mobile to move from place to place.
Phil, you are suggesting that it's really hard for immigrants to get welfare. I believe this is closer to truth. Maybe the school boards and hospitals are a little loose in admitting illegal immigrants. But generally, it is a life of great uncertainty as well as not being allowed full participation.
Bill H. Added Feb 12, 2018 - 3:34pm
Being that many companies are not willing to pay decent wages for certain types of work, they use whatever loopholes are available to them to import workers or use undocumented aliens.
This will not go away soon, and the pressure to not crack down on the border comes from both parties for different reasons.
Don't believe for one minute that the Republican party is united in support of closing down the border. Many of the corporations that support the Republican party want nothing to do with shutting down their source of cheap labor.
John Minehan Added Feb 12, 2018 - 3:47pm
But you also have the H2A Visa program which lets farmers use seasonal foreign workers at relatively low wages and farm workers to arbitrage the money they get in USD against the currency in their home country.
It seems there are realistic alternatives to illegal labor in agriculture, at least in certain types of agriculture (e.g., apple farming).  
Tamara Wilhite Added Feb 12, 2018 - 4:01pm
Farms are already diligently automating, making the "who will harvest our food?" argument for illegal immigration moot.

7 robots that are replacing farm workers around the world

World's first hands-free farmland in Britain hailed a success
Phil Greenough Added Feb 12, 2018 - 4:08pm
Picking strawberries and rebuilding Houston and Florida are but a drop in the bucket compared to the illegal immigrant landscapers and nannies out there. 
I disagree with every word you just wrote.  Let’s make one thing perfectly clear, no medium to large corporation is going to hire undocumented workers.  These workers are working under the table for individuals like you and I.  If they do work for a corporation, it’s one with no assets that one could take if they were found to be hiring illegal immigrants.
Yes, like all industries, the agricultural industry is automating more and more.  What’s your point in the context of this discussion?
Donna Added Feb 12, 2018 - 4:12pm
I here this as well. I see the whole picture maybe a little differently. I find no issue with those who are here illegally. Most are hard working, and are seeking the same as most of us, whose great, grandparents came here, yes legally. But not all have that choice.
I was told by a man who has been here for 10 years, he pays all of the taxes we do, i saw the pay stub. However, he qualifies for no programs within this Country, as he is not legal, so no income tax return, no ( if he makes it ) Social Security. 
They pay cash for all medical, and use the clinic, as it is cheaper than an ER. He works for 3 different farmers, one with goats, one with apples, and one with Milk cows.
i pose this question to those who say, he is taking jobs away from Americans, if we had someone to fill the position, they would not have looked over seas,( the Visa as John pointed out)  nor to an illegal( as George so quickly stated). However, Men in this Country think they are above working for a measly wage that a farmer pays. So, how did the jobs get out sourced to begin with?? 
So to me, an illegal actually contributes more than some who are born and raised here, live off of the programs, and never work, unless made to. See the illegal, he pays into all of our programs, but can take nothing back! So it is a win for us. IMO
Phil Greenough Added Feb 12, 2018 - 4:18pm
All this talk about benefit versus cost is irrelevant.  I guess that also means my article is irrelevant.  The reason it’s irrelevant is because illegal immigrants are not going to self-deport.  We should all simply accept that and then find a way for them to legally provide for themselves. 
Dave Volek Added Feb 12, 2018 - 4:32pm
Most of the companies accepting the immigrant labor are doing so through an intermediary. If the illegal hiring is found out, the intermediary has already folded, with the first company claiming "We didn't know."
Right now, there are quite a few immigrants coming from the USA and into Canada. They are scared of their status in the USA, and are coming for a softer touch (or so they think). We Canadians have had a good history of sign them up or send them home. Not many 20-year stays.
Donna Added Feb 12, 2018 - 4:38pm
No disagreement form me. I wasn't trying to disparage your article, just adding what i have been told.
John Minehan Added Feb 12, 2018 - 4:39pm
"I was told by a man who has been here for 10 years, he pays all of the taxes we do, I saw the pay stub."
That isn't how that is supposed to work.  Seems as if there may be a larger issue there . . . .
Donna Added Feb 12, 2018 - 4:42pm
My nephew is actually looking at Canada to make a permanent move. He took a year off after high school, has decided he wants to start his own business, has gone about getting a degree, in all he would require, then intends to find out how to move to Canada, he says life will be much better for him, and at some point his family, than it ever will be here, any advice for him?
No criminal background,will be fresh out of college next spring.
John Minehan Added Feb 12, 2018 - 4:45pm
"The reason it’s irrelevant is because illegal immigrants are not going to self-deport." 
There has been a fair amount of that since 2008.
Dave Volek Added Feb 12, 2018 - 4:49pm
Go to the Canadian embassy or nearest consulate to get the exact facts. The fact that he has an education should help earn a few points for him to get accepted. It might take a few years, so get a job and some experience. Try to get on with a corporation with Canadian ties. Corporate transfers are common. And many such Americans make Canada their permanent home.
Canada is no Shang-ra-lai. At least we are not talking about any future civil war.
John Minehan Added Feb 12, 2018 - 4:50pm
Canada and the US have a somewhat porous border, although that has tightened since 9/11/2001.
I still remember a Captain who got stuck in the Military Intelligence School at FT Huachuca for a couple of years in the late 1980s  because his wife discovered during his investigation that she was actually a Canadian citizen, as she was born in Canada right near the US border and her family had come here in the 1960s without doing anything to regularize themselves. 
Phil Greenough Added Feb 12, 2018 - 5:01pm
I don’t know enough about Canadian immigration to agree or disagree with the assertion that your history with immigration is good.  One thing I know is that you don’t share 2,000 mile border with a third world country.  Not to mention the many impoverished and desperate Central Americans that go through Mexico to get to the United States.  I agree completely with what you said about intermediary companies.  By way of example, it’s not like landowners/farmers are hiring strawberry pickers directly.  They hire a firm that picks the strawberries for them. 
I think the point you raised is the most important one of all. 
John Minehan Added Feb 12, 2018 - 5:03pm
"One thing I know is that you don’t share 2,000 mile border with a third world country."
Canadians today might (reasonably) disagree.
Dave Volek Added Feb 12, 2018 - 5:11pm
If Canada opened up its borders, the world would flood in. We have an annual limit of about 200,000 -300,000. And we select the best combination of talent and humanitarian reasons.
The fact that we do frequently send people back and we will hold the first company accountable for hiring a shady intermediary means there is not as much opportunity for illegal immigration as there is in the US. They can come--and they do--but life is not very good without some legal status.
opher goodwin Added Feb 12, 2018 - 6:03pm
The use of cheap immigrant labour has been a major part of agricultural practice for years. Woody Guthrie sang about it in his 1950s song Deportee about the crash of a plane flying workers back to Mexico.
Everybody deserves a fair wage though. Perhaps people need to start paying more?
Dino Manalis Added Feb 12, 2018 - 7:15pm
The restaurant industry needs them too!
George N Romey Added Feb 12, 2018 - 7:17pm
Ding! Ding! Ding! I think we had a winner. Funny back in the 60s Americans could afford food without the illegal labor.
Katharine Otto Added Feb 12, 2018 - 7:21pm
I believe in open borders myself.  Those farmers have a right to hire labor they can afford, and the workers have a right to work.  I suspect a major problem with US labor is overhead, especially taxes and insurance, things like payroll taxes and workman's comp.  Background checks.  Ye gods, the stumbling blocks to hiring US workers . . .  By then the strawberries would have rotted on the vine.
Other people on this thread have mentioned my other thoughts.  Large corporations use contractors and sub-contractors.  I'm sure my utility company does this for trimming trees around the power lines.  Nobody but the boss speaks English.
It's unfortunate for the worker, because he's on his own in terms of getting fair treatment.  He has no recourse if he's shorted on wages, or if he gets hurt, or the workplace is unsafe.
And, I've heard reverse immigration has now surpassed illegal immigration.  If we wait long enough, Trump's wall will be necessary to keep US citizens from escaping to Mexico to follow the manufacturing jobs.
John Minehan Added Feb 12, 2018 - 7:27pm
"Ding! Ding! Ding! I think we had a winner. Funny back in the 60s Americans could afford food without the illegal labor."
César Chavez and RFK might disagree; a lot of the Farmworker's Movement and the Lettuce Boycott was about using American labor at decent wages and conditions.  
George N Romey Added Feb 12, 2018 - 7:42pm
This will become a mute subject. Increasingly there’s machinery to do the picking. Very laborious jobs are going away. For example now in Miami Dade all trash trucks have swinging arms to pick up the cans. Only a driver is needed.
Its one reason we have actual emigration. Those jobs are disappearing. What illegals are in demand? Those that can work in upscale restaurants: look “American”, speak English and have social skills. They are coming from Europe by plane.
Cliff M. Added Feb 12, 2018 - 8:40pm
Phil,  Questionable undocumented immigrants have infiltrated all walks of the U.S. labor market. In the construction industry many of the questionable immigrants were the only few that remained working during the darkest hour;s of the Great Recession. They are still highly prevalent on most work sites. They have greatly cut the wage base and created a strong labor buyers market .
 I could understand using these people to harvest but letting them continue to occupy millions of everyday jobs in the workforce is a travesty. From entry level jobs which kids used to gain entrance to the workforce to many other positions gained by longevity of climbing the company ladder.
 I have empathy for these people but also do not believe this should be a key issue while the welfare of many ordinary American citizens has been ignored for to long.
Bill H. Added Feb 12, 2018 - 11:17pm
Phil -
Disagree all you want, but.....
Many large corporations are now using contract labor providers to take care of certain job functions. Quite a few of these contract labor providers in fact use undocumented workers to perform many tasks.
I spent many years in the communications industry. We used contract labor to install cable and fiber plant, perform installations, and perform certain maintenance activities. Many of the people doing this work were undocumented workers.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Feb 13, 2018 - 12:49am
The Chamber of Commerce viewpoint in all it's glory. Way to go Phil!
Anti-Limey Added Feb 13, 2018 - 1:36am
Jeff, I used your T.A.R.D. analogy today, giving you full credit! LOL
opher goodwin Added Feb 13, 2018 - 3:22am
As I understood it a lot of the migrant labour was temporary and legal. Have things changed?
Robert Burk Added Feb 13, 2018 - 4:31am
I just thought of something reading this... I think what we need is a system in which when a business person cannot find enough people to work for him or her he increases the wage until enough labor is found. Please, do not react hastily. I know this is a radically new idea but I honestly think capitalists ought to consider this as an option. Of course, the problem is some businesses may not be able to afford to do this. May I suggest Chapter 11 or bankruptcy in this case.  We could even call this idea the free market. I know business people detest the idea of such a beast but I am just suggesting why not try it before claiming you have the right to break any law or impose any conditions on society so long as you keep making your profits.
opher goodwin Added Feb 13, 2018 - 5:13am
Robert - free market? That has surely failed us hasn't it? Merely a means of exploitation.
Open borders and freedom of movement, fair wages and fair prices. Seems good to me.
Phil Greenough Added Feb 13, 2018 - 9:17am
If a lot of countries opened their borders, the world would flood in. 
I think a fair wage is the wage at which a willing employee agrees to work.  Accordingly, all wages are fair.
Good point Dino!
Not for one second have I said I believe in open borders.  It’s against the law for illegals to work and for employers to hire illegals.   I believe the law should be changed, but so long as it’s in place, the employment of undocumented immigrants is not a “right.”  My article provides the economic reason to change the law and allow these people the legal right to work.  Let’s also not forget that all these undocumented workers are very fortunate (not “unfortunate”) compared to the average person from their home country who are desperate to escape to a place like America.  As for the wall being necessary to keep US citizens from escaping, that’s just your anti-Trump bias clouding your ability to think. 
More people are employed today that at any time in the history of the Earth.  In addition, there are more machines today than at any time in the history of the Earth.  So your comment makes no sense. 
What’s a “questionable” undocumented immigrant?  For the record, they have not infiltrated all walks of the US labor market.  Or do you believe there are undocumented bankers and biochemists in the labor force?   Nobody is letting them occupy any job; the work they do is against the law.  However, just like speeding and marijuana use is against the law, some laws are not enforced very stringently. 
This is not a country where we have to walk around with papers ala Nazi Germany.  If a corporation wants to hire a company to clean its offices and that company uses undocumented immigrants, the corporation has done nothing wrong.
Before I offer a response, I just want to be sure you’re not kidding. 
Robert Burk Added Feb 13, 2018 - 9:46am
Its closer to sarcasm than a joke.
It seems everytime labor shortages are experienced, meaning businesses cannot get the labor they want at the price they want the only solution becomes communism. I always understood capitalists were capitalists and supported a free market.
Robert Burk Added Feb 13, 2018 - 9:48am
I bet these fruit growers would be amazed at just how many people they could hire if they kept upping the wage scale until the got the response they wanted (called the free market solution). Or we could give the farms to the laborors and solve the problem that way.
Cliff M. Added Feb 13, 2018 - 10:03am
Phil, By me in North east New Jersey questionable labor is highly visible in many business ventures. A labor black market has been created especially since the great recession where cash is king and benefits do not exist. I don't see how this is good for our economy.Day laborer's congregate daily only blocks from my home a half a block from the local police station. You can tell how the economy is doing by how many are left standing around by mid day.With the labor participation rate still low keeping these people employed while citizens can not get into the work force is a large reason the labor market remains weak as I see it. They are in direct competition with many of the long term unemployed who have been frozen out of the labor economy.
Phil Greenough Added Feb 13, 2018 - 10:15am
Who gave you this idea about labor shortages and the solution being communism?  I’ve never heard anyone say or write something like that.  Of course fruit growers could find American Citizens to pick fruit with offers of higher wages. The problem is that it would cost too much money to pick strawberries, making it so they couldn’t turn a profit.  So they would make the decision to leave the fruit on the vine.  As for “giving the farms to the laborers,” was that more sarcasm?
What’s “questionable labor?”  A labor black market has always existed, as America’s problems with illegal immigration is a longstanding one.  The reason it’s good for the economy is because without illegal immigrant labor farmers would leave the fruit on the vine.  Let alone the millions of other jobs and benefits of that labor, that would cease to exist.  While true that some illegal immigrants have taken work away from some American Citizens, on the whole, increased economic activity from employing illegals creates more jobs.  Don’t believe, look at all the jobs that would be lost if America was no longer the largest strawberry producer in the world. 
Bill Kamps Added Feb 13, 2018 - 10:35am
Phil, if you build a business model based on getting cheap illegal labor, and that labor is no longer around, then yes of course you have a financial problem.  It is simple economics.
It is similar to those in California who built orchards in the desert based on cheap water.  Now the water is not so cheap because it is more scarce.  Are we the taxpayers supposed to subsidize those farmers because they made unrealistic assumptions about the cost of labor and water?
More to your basic point.  The average person in the US benefits from cheap illegal immigrant labor.  We also realize that the government has created a crazy quilt of unenforceable laws.  This is why local governments do not help ISIS with the immigration problem.  Every time they try, ISIS gives them a mess.  So local law enforcement just ignores the problem.
It would be pretty easy to dry up the jobs for illegal immigrants.  Just make sure they have a valid Social Security number that really belongs to them, and stop companies from paying cash  to their employees.  If they aren't on a W2 or 1099, dont allow the deduction on their tax return.  The fact that we dont enforce the laws, shows that business has communicated to  the  government that in general we dont want the laws enforced.
Bill H. Added Feb 13, 2018 - 10:55am
 "If a corporation wants to hire a company to clean its offices and that company uses undocumented immigrants, the corporation has done nothing wrong."
My point exactly - many corporations use as much contract labor as possible these days to avoid hiring and paying their own workers, therefore they are (although indirectly) hiring undocumented workers in many cases. So is the reason that they don't want to see the supply of these workers shut down.
Many I.T. companies are hiring workers from overseas via H1-B visas and also using network configuration, monitoring, and storage services that are based overseas.
The idea of "bringing jobs back to America" is obviously a very good idea, but in reality so many corporations depend on present laws and loopholes for using foreign and undocumented workers, and will certainly resist any efforts to change or eliminate these laws and loopholes.
opher goodwin Added Feb 13, 2018 - 11:11am
Phil - sorry to disagree. Some people find themselves in situations where they are forced to work for starvation wages through no fault of their own. They are exploited. They deserve a fair wage.
Cliff M. Added Feb 13, 2018 - 11:25am
Phil, In New Jersey the largest legal immigration population is from India. If so why are there Mexican  and many other central and South American people all over New Jersey gainfully employed working for many times half of what used to be the going rate?Another reason migrant farm workers are in demand is because many have gone on to better paying positions which used to belong to native citizens.
Phil Greenough Added Feb 13, 2018 - 11:41am
Bill Kamps;
As for the suggestion that it would be “pretty easy” to dry up the jobs for illegal immigrants, that’s nonsense unless you think humans can survive without food and water or that illegals will self-deport.    
Are we the taxpayers supposed to subsidize those farmers because they made unrealistic assumptions about the cost of labor and water?
Absolutely not.  But we the taxpayers don’t have to do anything but allow illegals the right to work.  As for California and its water issues, much of the shortage is created by the government and could be resolved with a stroke of a pen.  Now that I think about it, much of our problem with illegal immigration could also be resolved with a stroke of a pen too.
Let’s chalk-up our disagreement as misunderstanding.  Whether we’re talking about corporations hiring firms that hire illegals or individuals hiring nannies and gardeners that came here illegally, we’ve all found “loopholes.”  I just read a lot of anti-corporation bias coming from your tone and I have one response to anyone that treats corporations like the enemy…it’s not wise to bite the hand that feeds you. 
If someone is forced to work against their will that’s called slavery. It’s ridiculous to suggest someone would go to work and starve.  Why wouldn’t they just quit?
Illegals have always worked for less than the American Citizen rate.  So I don’t follow your question. 
opher goodwin Added Feb 13, 2018 - 11:49am
Phil - lots of people are forced to work against their will. For many work is slavery or prostitution. They wouldn't do it unless they had to!
Bill H. Added Feb 13, 2018 - 12:06pm
When "the hand that feeds you" gives Americans less and less while they take and keep more and more for themselves at the expense of our entire system, then I begin to question whether many corporations actually care about the betterment of our country in the long run, or just their CEO salaries and month-end stockholder report.
Phil Greenough Added Feb 13, 2018 - 12:55pm
Having to work and being forced to work are totally different statuses of employment.  The latter is slavery and I concede that these people are not paid a fair wage. 
Spare me.  For every person that’s employed by a corporation that’s one less person sucking at the teat of the state.  Not to mention the fact their income is taxed, as well as the profits and distributions of the corporation.  Corporations, especially the large and successful ones, make it so that all those Mom & Pop businesses can report breakeven profit (as in a tax rate of 0%) and the government still has revenue to dole out.   You may not like it, but they are the hand that feeds us. 
Bill Kamps Added Feb 13, 2018 - 1:10pm
As for the suggestion that it would be “pretty easy” to dry up the jobs for illegal immigrants, that’s nonsense unless you think humans can survive without food and water or that illegals will self-deport.
If there are no jobs, they wont stay.  Yes they may get the odd nanny job, or grass cutting job, but the big employers wont be able to employ them if payroll laws were enforced.  There are only two ways to pay an illegal alien, by cash, or with a fake Social Security Number.  Both are easy for to detect.  The SSN has to be real, or the system will kick it out when payroll is filed, so you just have to make sure the SSN belongs to the person being paid, that is not being done.  To stop cash payments, just stop allowing companies to deduct cash payments to people that dont have a 1099 or SSN. 
If employers cant deduct the salary for tax purposes the advantage of the lower salary disappears.  This is not difficult to stop.  Fake SSNs are routinely available, it would not be difficult for government payroll system to detect this and kick  them out.
I am an employer, and while we have to get paper work that proves someone can work here when we hire them, no one ever checks the paper work or the proof documents.  When we file payroll, no one checks that the SSN belongs to the person it is assigned, in fact a name is not even on the form, just the SSN when the with holding tax is taken out.   It is stupid how things are done and just invites fraud. 
Right now people come on tourist visas, get a fake SSN, and just stay. It is not difficult.  I know multiple waitresses who arrived that  way. 
George N Romey Added Feb 13, 2018 - 2:43pm
My nephew teaches in a school outside of Naples that is home to illegal immigrant growers. On a daily basis social services and police must come to the school and intervene in everything from head lice to visible bruises brought on by beatings at home or within the local migrant community. So Phil who pays for all this stuff? It sure the hell isnt Wal Mart.
Phil Greenough Added Feb 13, 2018 - 3:52pm
The journey illegals took to get here, coupled with the miserable conditions they left, means it would take enormous hardship for them to self-deport.  As for the suggestion that corporations are employing illegal immigrants, that’s a fiction.  They work under table or via some intermediary company.  Said intermediary company has not assets to take, so there is no incentive for government bureaucrats to prosecute.  If they did prosecute, as fast as you can say “intermediary,” another will take the place of the prosecuted company, doing the exact same thing. 
As for your thoughts on using the tax code to achieve the reforms you desire, those employers that pay under the table are already not deducting those payments, as it would be a sure way to be prosecuted for employing illegals. 
The fake social security number users are not “easily” detected.  That’s like saying we should save money on Medicare by eliminating all the fraudulent claims and then thinking it’s easily done. 
Tell me how Florida’s economy would look if oranges were left on the vine?  So as you can see, illegals pay for all that stuff as they are the ones that make it possible to have fruit growing industries.  So are you saying only illegals have head lice and abusive parents?  That sounds a lot like something Trump would say and you don’t strike me as a Trump guy. 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Feb 13, 2018 - 9:12pm
You may not like it, but they are the hand that feeds us.
All hail the great, benevolent and powerful corporation!!
George N Romey Added Feb 14, 2018 - 12:43am
No but a bigger share of problems are associated with poverty in case you've never noticed.  Cheap food comes with a cost in multiple ways.
Robert Burk Added Feb 14, 2018 - 4:42am
Phil, so you admit capitalism does not work but you do not think using the state to provide you with cheap labor is not communism or at least socialism (socialism for the wealthy that is). And  I did not know the free market tells us that if we cannot sell our goods at a price we wish we can resort to illegal activities to incrase the bottom line. I guess the free market is only for labor.
(Eveything I say is sarcasm, i can find no other expression when talking about capitalism. Its such a farce).
Robert Burk Added Feb 14, 2018 - 4:45am
There is only one reason for illegals, to outflank the free market when it comes to wages. Everything else is a snowjob and irrelevant. Illegals keep wages low and labor weak and that is why corporations support it and their government allies turn a blind eye to it.
Phil Greenough Added Feb 14, 2018 - 8:13am
I don’t know how many times I can say the same thing to you and for you to still not be able to grasp my point.  So this is my last attempt, I’m not talking about cheap fruit, illegal immigrants are the difference between having fruit growing industries and not having those industries. 
Were those comments intended to be directed towards me?  The reason I ask is because nothing you wrote addresses anything I wrote.  By way of example, I have no interest in the state providing cheap labor and think capitalism works just fine. 
Phil Greenough Added Feb 14, 2018 - 9:36am
At no time have I advocated for slave labor.  The strawberry industry, like most fruit growing industries, happens to be labor intensive.  Because of that, to be competitive in the industry, one must have access to cheap labor. 
I take the time to address all of my commenters, however, because your opening two questions are a distortion of my position, I’m choosing to ignore the rest of what you wrote.  Kindly re-write your comment, assuming you don’t distort my position again, I’ll be happy to address all of it.
Tamara Wilhite Added Feb 14, 2018 - 10:32am
Phil Greenough Farm automation is eliminating any justification for legal and illegal immigrants as farm labor.
Bill Kamps Added Feb 14, 2018 - 11:19am
They work under table or via some intermediary company.  Said intermediary company has not assets to take, so there is no incentive for government bureaucrats to prosecute.
I can name three restaurants in Houston where everyone they employ is an illegal alien.  No intermediary company, I know the people that work there.   That all have fake SSNs.
It doesnt matter if there are assets to take the tax people want their taxes.  We have been audited because the IRS wants to check that our 1099 people shouldnt be instead on a W2, and we dont have any assets to take.   In both cases they get taxes, but a little less if people are on 1099.   They audit not to take assets but to make sure we aren't cheating them out of some tax.  We are small company, smaller than these intermediaries you talk about.
Fake SSNs are trivial to detect.  When we turn in the form for payroll, there is no name on the form, so ANYONE could be using that number.  They dont check the number is being used by the person it is assigned to.  You telling me this cant be checked ?  You telling me someone cant write a simple program to compare the name that is assigned to the number?
OF course companies deduct their cash labor, that are illegal aliens, otherwise they are losing like 30% on that money.  They try to hide the cash payments as something else, but it would be easy to detect.  Once again, they audit my 20 person company, you telling me they cant audit a farm in Calif that produces almonds, or lettuce and has revenues of tens of millions at least ?  That labor would be easy to track. 
Im not sure where you are getting your information.  I run a company and I know how these things work.  What company do you run, and what is on your payroll forms when you submit your FICA funds to the government?
Bill Kamps Added Feb 14, 2018 - 11:27am
"The strawberry industry, like most fruit growing industries, happens to be labor intensive.  Because of that, to be competitive in the industry, one must have access to cheap labor. "
It only needs cheap labor to be competitive because OTHER growers are ALSO using illegal aliens.  If everyone was using legal labor then they would still be competitive.  Yes, strawberries would be a bit more expensive, and they might sell a bit less, but as Gerrilea says, they are not a necessity.   What % are strawberries of your monthly budget and how many fewer would you eat if they were 50% more expensive?   Would you really not buy them if they cost $1-2 a box more?
The problem is the business model is built on the premise of using illegal labor.  No one said that farmer could ONLY grow strawberries, or only be a farmer for that matter. 
Phil Greenough Added Feb 14, 2018 - 11:52am
I don’t think you understand reality.  You also don’t have a strong grasp of the English language.  For example, the question: Do you not understand that most of them are forced into it? is riddled with problems.  If I were to answer “yes” am I saying I understand or don’t understand?  Who’s them?  What is it?  If I were to answer yes to your questions, would my opinion on these matters be proof that I’m right?  If not, what’s the point of your questions?  Or would I need to physically pick strawberries for you to treat my opinions with respect?  Speaking of respect, so long as you resort to ad hominem attack, you’ll receive none from me. 
So it’s your assertion illegals are not picking fruit? 
Nobody wants to close three restaurants in Houston.  However, a company like Walmart has huge assets to go after and should it ever be caught employing illegals, you can be sure some government bureaucrat will go after those assets.  Should you close off the fake social security method (which I concede is possible), they will find another way to work.  Furthermore, no company is going to openly admit they’re employing illegals and expose itself to prosecution.
Allow me to provide a personal anecdote, a factory near where I live was raided and many illegals were found to be working there.  Wouldn’t you know it, many of those illegals had children in the local school system and nobody came to pick them up after school.  So now, you have a closed factory, jails filled will illegals and American citizen children with no father or mother to care for them.  Not to mention all that lost business activity / tax revenue from having that factory in operation.  Or we can just look the other way and let the ones already here….work. 
My point is this, illegals aren’t going home and they aren’t going to starve to death.  Attempting to end their employment options is an economic, humanitarian and logistical nightmare.  So just let them work.     
Bill Kamps Added Feb 14, 2018 - 12:09pm
Phil,  just because I say we could make employment of illegals MUCH more difficult does not mean I want them all exported.    As I said in my first comment, most people dont really care that much. Myself included.
However, it is a false notion that we need a wall, or better laws to keep illegals out.  We can keep most of them out by enforcing the laws that we have, it would not be difficult,  we choose not do so.
I also agree that if we started enforcing the laws tomorrow, there would be a lot of problems because we have let things go for decades.  I saw a teenager on TV the other day who is a DACA kid, and she was saying of course she is worried.  She said her parents are here illegally, and they just finished paying off their mortgage.  Now how many questions does that raise, how do people get a mortgage that are not here legally?  Do you think you could easily get a job, a drivers license, and mortgage in France, or the UK or any other modern country if you were there just as a tourist? no of course not. Because they have systems in place that check things.  We dont have such  systems.
You say better enforcement would not restrict the illegals, but in other countries they dont have this degree of the problem.  No system keeps everyone out that is illegal, but quite a few systems work a lot better than ours.
Having said that, why do you say small companies are too small for the IRS or other services to pick on? they pick on us, and we only employ 20 people.  We have been audited twice and we are FAR from a big fish.  Why not a restaurant that also only employs 20 people or so?   I think you underestimate how often companies get audited routinely anyway.  It is not just the  big companies.
My point is not that it should be done, my point is that systems to enforce our laws would not be that difficult to put in place.  We already audit companies with only 20 people in them.
Phil Greenough Added Feb 14, 2018 - 3:13pm
This conversation is about the ones already here, not the ones we’re trying to prevent from getting here.  So let’s not discuss the wall or anything like that.
I think it makes perfect sense that illegals can obtain mortgages and driver licensees.  The alternative is illegals sleeping in the street and driving unlicensed and uninsured vehicles.   
As for other countries not having the same degree of an immigrant problem as us, perhaps some don’t, others are far worse.  For example, I would argue the Syrian refuge crisis is far worse.  Or read this article about South African immigration trouble. 
As for the restaurant thing, let’s just say that no company is openly admitting to the government that they employ illegals. 
“my point is that systems to enforce our laws would not be that difficult to put in place”
To summarize my point, even if you could enforce the law, the result would be desperate immigrants, struggling businesses/industries and overall, far worse problems than we already have.  I also remain unconvinced your ideas will prevent illegals from working, as the law means very little to someone that needs to feed his or her family.  
Phil, pointing out what many illegal aliens that work on farms is now an ad hominem?
Saying I don’t have a grasp of reality is evidence of you slinging ad hominem attack. 
Describing what I've witnessed and lived through is somehow not grasping the English language? 
Asking several questions that begins with a negative is evidence of you not grasping the English language. 
Your moral argument fails.  "...humanitarian...nightmare.."  Let's review history, why are they coming here in the first place?
Like our ancestors, they come here for a chance at a better life. I’m making no moral argument, just stating a fact. 
George N Romey Added Feb 14, 2018 - 4:33pm
Gerrila you summed it up perfectly. Phil is clueless to the indirect costs of illegal immigration. I live in Miami, I see it every day. 
Tamara Wilhite Added Feb 14, 2018 - 6:45pm

Phil Greenough Most illegal aliens are NOT picking fruit. And there is NO industry where illegal aliens are the majority of labor, so yes, real Americans will do these jobs.
The use of illegal immigrants does deter some from working in these fields because it pulls down wages.
Illegal immigration is hurting the poorest Americans by preventing employers from having to pay a living wage, while illegals regularly use public services like hospitals and schools that they will never pay enough in any indirect taxes to offset.
George N Romey Added Feb 15, 2018 - 12:35am
Not to mention unemployed and in particular underemployed Americans are vying for social aid both public and private with illegal immigrants making less than minimum wage.  Who benefits?  The Wal Marts of the world.  
Phil Greenough Added Feb 15, 2018 - 5:19am
Most illegal aliens are NOT picking fruit. And there is NO industry where illegal aliens are the majority of labor, so yes, real Americans will do these jobs.
We agree on those points.
The use of illegal immigrants does deter some from working in these fields because it pulls down wages.
Disagree.  The economy is not a zero sum game.  The increased economic activity from all those illegals working creates opportunities all over the income ladder.  If you could you snap your finger and eliminate their ability to work, think of all the truck drivers that will no longer have strawberries to haul.  Would you like me to name some more higher-paying ancillary jobs that will disappear?
Illegal immigration is hurting the poorest Americans by preventing employers from having to pay a living wage
It’s not the fault of illegal immigrants that some Americans are poor.  As for the living wage, illegals are living off the wage received for picking strawberries. 
while illegals regularly use public services like hospitals and schools that they will never pay enough in any indirect taxes to offset.
The biggest user of public dollars are the elderly. The services young working illegals consume is nothing compared to the economic benefit they provide all of us.  I mean can you imagine how much more expensive our cost of living would if it wasn’t for their labor?  From cutting my grass to getting a sandwich at lunch, everything I do would be way more expensive.   Besides, there is no alternative, as it’s a pipe dream if you think they’re going to self-deport.  So it’s up to you, deny their ability to work and put all of them on the public dole (by a degree much larger than you think they’re currently on it) or let them work. 
Gerrilea and George;
I encourage both of you “clueless” rednecks to read my last two sentences to Tamara.  As you can see, you have “no legitimate argument.”  QED.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Feb 15, 2018 - 7:25am
Crapitalists encourage their minions in gov't from the gang of 535 down to beat cop to ignore the law so crapitalists can enjoy even bigger houses, vehicles, yachts and airplanes 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Feb 15, 2018 - 7:30am
The only way crapitalists will obey the law and do whats right regards illegal workers is to have laws that penalize the employer directly. Employers who employ illegals going to prison for a year for every illegal employed would go a long way to ending their smug abuse. Make the sentences consecutive. Fine them $100k for each one too. 
In other words the abuse will never stop and others like the author will continue to rub our noses in it. 
Cliff M. Added Feb 15, 2018 - 10:12am
Phil, In the construction industry many illegal aliens are working for half of what the going rate used to be.On top of that they are hired and fired at the employers whim leaving no incentive to create jobs that have any continuity. I have seen this situation firsthand . These people never worked for me so I had no legitimate reason to question what was going on but I saw an argument over foreman wages and they were half of the going rate.Back in 2012 when the construction industry was in real bad shape I visited job site after job site that had nothing but questionable labor that all claimed they did not speak English. It was tough to stomach all of these people working while my own situation was a mess. It took me almost 8 months to find a job and that was at a 33% discount. The situation is only good for those exploiting the circumstances. Hurts everyone else.
George N Romey Added Feb 15, 2018 - 11:32am
Illegal immigration is not a net positive for this country. This is the author that tried to claim lobbyists were good for Americans. He’s obviously spent too much time sitting watching CNBC and not enough time to doing actual research. Even worse are the HB1 visa mills which is a form of legalized illegal immigration.
George N Romey Added Feb 15, 2018 - 12:03pm
And those people ain’t pickin tomatoes for five bucks an hour. They’re taking very good upper middle income professional jobs.
Phil Greenough Added Feb 15, 2018 - 1:00pm
What’s a crapitalist?  Or did you mean to write "capitalist," which I guess means you believe capitalism is inferior to some other economic system?  Kindly name that system.
Since the beginning of construction, illegals have worked in the industry at rates significantly less than what American Citizens work for.  Nothing salient changed for you to think they suddenly work for less and are the reason you found yourself unemployed.  It’s thanks to these workers consumers can get more bang out of their renovation buck.  Furthermore, the questionable labor I see is from union construction workers.  After all, were it true that illegal immigrant labor was questionable, why would people hire them? 
What makes my thoughts the product of “propaganda” and your thoughts more important?  Allow me, you don’t know how to debate without resorting to insult. Because of that I will continue to ignore a lot of what you write and insult you right back.  Like George, you still don't have the intellectual capacity to grasp the difference between cheap strawberries and a vibrant strawberry producing industry, an industry made possible by illegal immigrant labor.  As for all the billions you say they're costing us, none of it is supported by any evidence.  It’s just the same mindless crap one can see out of every third Breitbart article. 
It’s one thing to be against illegal immigration, quite another to be against legal immigration of other nation’s best and brightest.  It’s unfortunate you feel that way, you can take solace in the fact many Americans agree with you.  What all of you don’t appreciate is that the economy is not a zero sum game.  By way of example, some companies need highly skilled employees, to the extent they can’t find them here or to the extent they’re too expensive here, they’ll go elsewhere.  I think we should entice them to come here or grow here.  With labor being the largest line-item in their budget, a big part of that enticement is made possible by H-1B visas.  
Cliff M. Added Feb 15, 2018 - 1:32pm
  Phil, Do you think it is fair that the American tax payer has been stuck paying the bills for all of the American citizens that were gainfully employed until the Great Recession and the wave of illegal immigrant labor took over? Do you think it is right that day laborers can be fired and hired on a daily basis with out them or employers paying taxes or for benefits? What's up with you? Are you one of those who are reaping the rewards of exploiting the situation?
  As to legal immigration there should be a way of limiting it when jobs are at a premium. A friend was a recruiter and said most people hired now are on visa's working for substantial discounts as a way to get into the U.S. and get their foot in the door. Hiring Americans at the previous going rate has become a rarity.
George N Romey Added Feb 15, 2018 - 1:58pm
Phil clear empirical evidence has been presented that illegal immigration is not a positive. You’ve haven’t provided any numbers that it is. You might think you are intellectually superior to us but where’s your proof?
Phil Greenough Added Feb 15, 2018 - 3:57pm
There was no wave of illegal immigration following the great recession.  The suggestion doesn’t even make logical sense, as illegal immigrants are more enticed to come here the healthier our economy.  To the extent the economy is weak and unemployment is high, the difference in cost between an illegal and a Citizen is much closer. 
You drew first blood (as in you launched the first insult).  Accordingly, any nastiness emitting from me, is because of you.  As for moving the goal posts or dwelling on semantics, I have no idea what you’re talking about.  I will give you another chance to further your education, kindly re-write your last comment sans insult and I’ll respond to it without insult.  May the record show, I don’t think it’s something you’re capable of, as I don’t think you even know when you’re slinging insults.    
My proof is that strawberry picking is labor intensive, meaning to be competitive in the industry, one needs a low cost of labor.  Between minimum wage laws, Obamacare and all the other free stuff Citizens qualify for by not working, there is no chance these jobs can be filled by Citizens unless the wage was much higher than it currently is. This is all basic common sense but if you want a number, try 1,312,960.  That’s how many tons of strawberries this country produces.  Here’s another number, 4.  That’s how many times more our production is than the next closest country. 
George N Romey Added Feb 15, 2018 - 4:36pm
Cliff they come when the home building industry gets squeezed and looks for lower labor costs. Phil wgat you can’t wrap your head around is that most picker jobs would have been automated now if it wasn’t for dirt cheap labor. And machines do not need social services.
In Miami there was a shortage of garbage collectors given the very unpleasant nature of the job. Lots of illegals would do it but Miami Dade county can’t simply hire  illegals. So the county hust automated that job. 
Come to South Florida and tell me that illegal immigration isn’t straining both public and private social services. I’ve had caseworkers tell me an illegal with children will always take priority over a citizen that is single.
Phil Greenough Added Feb 16, 2018 - 6:50am
Semantics – The question “Do you not understand that most of them are forced into it?” is evidence of poor grammar because of the word “not.”    Because of that word, I’m not entirely sure what a “yes” or “no” reply would mean.  You asked a series of questions like that and I was pointing it out to you.  In all this prose, I have not harped on your semantics / grammar one other time.  So “pluease” just get over it. 
Ad Hominem – Once again, the reason I started slinging insults is because you drew first blood.  Your latest comment contains no insults, so hopefully this issue is behind us. 
Propaganda – The expressing of an opinion I truly believe is not propaganda and you belittling my thoughts by calling it propaganda is rude.  I believe my arguments are not fallacious and I believe yours are.  However, I respect the fact you’re entitled to your opinion, you should show me the same respect.  Propaganda is more like Obama’s Life of Julia campaign or passing out leaflets that the war is almost over behind enemy lines.   
Goal posts/ False correlation/poisoning the well – I haven’t moved any goal posts, made any false correlations or poisoned any well.  However, if you restate a fact you think has merit, seeing that we’re not communicating in a friendly manner, I’ll be happy to address it. 
Plain and simple, illegal immigration hurts everyone – If you’re strawberry truck driver and the strawberries you haul are picked by illegals, then illegal immigration is your lifeblood.  That’s one person it helps, meaning your statement is wrong.  Would you like to learn about some other people it helps? 
Moving forward – Let’s make this the last comment in this exhausting thread.  Kindly write an article on what you should be done about illegal immigration and I’ll be happy to drop by and provide my two cents.
Rusty Smith Added Feb 16, 2018 - 9:05am
Phil Greenough several years ago I asked myself what would happen if there were no illegals to pick fruit and did a study of what part of a fruit's market price is farm labor.  I was quite surprised, it's a very small part.  The government tracks and publishes those costs very well, by crop and geographical area so it was an easy research project.
As things turned  out, the labor cost is so small that price would only rise about 10% if they paid the workers $30 per hour.
As I said it's different depending on the crop and location, strawberries being one of the most impacted, because they are labor intensive, crops that can be mechanically harvested require very little labor.
Crops are grown all over the US but at that time illegal Mexican labor was only a substantial factor in a few parts of the country like Southern California, because the illegals seemed to prefer to work close to home.  Those who think farming would collapse without them seem to overlook the fact that farming does quite well in places where there are no illegals, they just have to pay more for their labor, and yes it slightly raises the price of produce.
It is true that farmers have to compete, and NAFTA made imported fruit very competitive.  If a farmer can't see his strawberries as cheaply as Mexican imports, he will need to switch to a crop he can make a profit on, but that doesn't mean he's going to go out of business.  That's ALWAYS been true, and only effected our market price a little.
So where does the money go if not to all those poor illegals?  Half the cost is added after the fruit is picked to ship it, store it, and market it to you.  Before it's picked most of the money is spent getting the land ready, including fertilizers, and insecticides.  Farm equipment is a huge cost, water can be a huge cost.  The guy who picks it after everything else is done, gets another tiny slice of that money pie.  
If we took away all the illegals, and had no other source for that produce, we'd pay slightly more, perhaps 10%, to buy it from farms that produce the same stuff, maybe even in Mexico and employing the same workers.
It's not as complicated as everyone makes it sound.
Rusty Smith Added Feb 16, 2018 - 9:15am
Phil Greenough part TWO, the real cost of that illegal farm labor:
Farmers love illegals because they work hard for cheap wages, require no benefits, accept abuse most citizens wouldn't tolerate, and don't cost a penny after their short seasonal use.  Many Americans think they like illegals to because they like slightly lower produce prices.
Oh but wait, most of the true cost of illegal farm labor isn't paid for by the farmer, it's paid for by taxpayers who spend a fortune supporting them with their tax money.
The picking season is very short, and most illegals have families that stay in the US all year long.  Their kids go to our schools, they get free medical care at our hospitals and clinics, and with the help of a little fake ID, usually tap into other social assistance programs that also cost taxpayers a lot of money.  
We all tend to think they are hard working and a good value, but would any of you hire one if you also had to pay for their kids education, medical and other assistance, for the entire year, even if you only used them for 2 months a year?  Or would you rather pay twice or three times what you'd pay them and not have to support them for the rest of the year?
Jeffry Gilbert Added Feb 16, 2018 - 9:55am
most of the true cost of illegal farm labor isn't paid for by the farmer, it's paid for by taxpayers who spend a fortune supporting them with their tax money
Like all crapitalists they seek to socialize costs in the pursuit of private profit. Crapitalists are really socialist in word and action. 
Phil Greenough Added Feb 16, 2018 - 11:32am
Kindly share the link to the study that the price of strawberries would only rise by 10% if they paid the workers $30 an hour.  I thought the strawberry example would be helpful in that it’s something concrete one can point to that illegal immigrants are clearly doing.  However, I can see it may be too much of a distraction now, so I will make the same point using generalities.   
Do you agree that illegal immigrant labor is cheaper than American Citizen labor?  Assuming yes, this means the goods and services they provide via their labor is cheaper.   Accordingly assuming you could snap your fingers and end their ability to work, our cost of living would rise.  I would also add that illegals make our goods cheaper / more competitive on the world stage and exports are clearly a job creator.  Not to mention the fact competiveness of imports will increase because our domestically produced goods would be more expensive.  All of this translates into a higher quality of life thanks to the labor illegal immigrants. 
You’re simply too one-dimensional for me to waste any more of my brain cells on your education.  You can now go back to Breitbart, where I’m sure you’ll find an article referencing the cost of lice-infested illegals being in the trillions. You can then repeat that number all over the rest of the blogosphere.  Just be sure to keep out of my comment thread.  Thanks in advance. 
Second request, what’s the name of the system that works better than capitalism?
Cliff M. Added Feb 16, 2018 - 12:25pm
There is a good article on the effects of this issue on the American Affairs website titled , Low Skilled Immigration: A Case For Restriction.It explains the detrimental effect that both legal and illegal workers has had on the low work force participation rate of male prime age workers. Worth the read.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Feb 16, 2018 - 1:20pm
Second request, what’s the name of the system that works better than capitalism?
I ignored your request the first time.
I'm tempted to again.
However, What you posit is not only corporate behavior being above the law you describe the socialization of costs away from the corporation onto those who don't benefit from the corporation's resultant increased profit.
That's not your vaunted capitalism its socialism. 
DUHmerica does not have nor do its corporations want capitalism. 
Phil Greenough Added Feb 16, 2018 - 3:43pm
No, I’m not threatened by you, I’d just rather you troll someone else.  It’s true, whenever possible, I always hire an illegal immigrant to do work around my house.  I figure, why pay more for inferior work.
The reason we have a declining workforce participation rate is because Americans get too much free stuff by not working and because the population is aging. 
Corporations do not directly hire illegals, the potential legal ramifications are way too high.  Accordingly, illegals generally find work outside of the corporate environment. 
Edgeucation Newmedia Added Feb 16, 2018 - 4:23pm
America actually has an immigration policy allowing visas for farm laborers perhaps it should be expanded. 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Feb 16, 2018 - 10:17pm
Corporations do not directly hire illegals, the potential legal ramifications are way too high.  Accordingly, illegals generally find work outside of the corporate environment. 
You're a piece of work. Corporations are saints. Long live the benevolent corporation! HAIL Hail hail!
Substitute employer for corporation if it makes you feel better Chamber of Commerce boy.  
Rusty Smith Added Feb 17, 2018 - 11:43am
Phil Greenough there is not link saying the price of strawberries would only go up X if we paid X more, I think you read my post much too quickly.
If you go the United States Department of Agriculture Economics, Statistics and Market Information System:
You can look up how the costs are distributed for all common crops, in all areas, not just strawberries, and it is very specific, for example, how much on soil amendments, how much for the labor to prepare the land, how much for the labor to harvest, how much for the equipment, etc.  You can also see what farmers get per lb and compare it to what the stores charge per lb, if you want there are even very generalized stats that say how much goes to each, transportation, storage, and retail marketing.
From that you, just like I did, can see how small the slice of the pie is that is called "farm labor".  It's not just the guys who pick it either, it starts with land preparation and ends with clean up.
As I previously said the percent of labor cost varies a lot and I even said strawberries are one of the most labor intensive, (because they require much more land preparation than most other crops), and there is no automated way to pick them yet.  
If you think about it I'm sure you can understand what I'm saying is true.  Just transporting it to market and storing it, and the cost added by the stores, roughly doubles what the farmer gets.  Then think about the farm.
Usually large farming companies prep the soil, usually with huge very expensive equipment and amendments until it's physically and chemically optimized for the crop they want to plant, then they plant crops.  After months of expensive watering the crops are ready to be harvested, but before then they often spend a lot on insecticides an regular treatments.  When its all over someone picks the fruit.  That last step is essential but hardly the hard part, and not were most of the money is spent.
Don't forget, right now if American farmers can't grow and sell produce cheap enough to beat what it costs to grow it in Mexico, farmers in Mexico, who employ the same laborers, win the competitive price war, and employ the same laborers.  Those laborers aren't  out of work, they just work more often in their own country.
Rusty Smith Added Feb 17, 2018 - 11:48am
Phil Greenough illegal immigrant workers are cheaper but they don't improve our standard of living when they harvest seasonal crops because they consume tax money all year long, usually for their entire family.  The only one that gets a GREAT deal is the farmer, who gets cheap labor from people he doesn't have to support for the rest of the year.
If the farmer makes a fortune, that doesn't help our economy if we the taxpayer have to subsidize his workers.  When that happens the real cost of your fruit is far higher than what you paid for it at the store.  I'd say the cost even includes the poor education your kids get in public school, in places where illegals abound because their kids consume half the school budget.
Phil Greenough Added Feb 17, 2018 - 11:03pm
The link you provided does not support your earlier assertion.  It also defies logic that a labor intensive industry is not affected by the cost of labor.  You do a great job of describing all the effort/cost involved in growing, sorting, storing and shipping strawberries.  Many of those tasks are performed by skilled farmers and other skilled professions.  A lot of that labor and effort goes away if strawberries can’t be picked cheaply. 
Allow me to make my point with another product...IPhones. The act of assembling Iphones is done outside the United States, because it’s labor intensive and Iphones are easily shipped.   However, Apple’s flock of skilled professions are mostly located in the United States.  If it wasn’t for the ability to manufacture their products cheaply, Apple wouldn’t be as competitive and those high-paying jobs would begin to disappear. 
As you can plainly see, our standard of living is higher thanks to companies that have access to cheap labor.  
Rusty Smith Added Feb 18, 2018 - 12:38pm
Phil Greenough I do question whether you really did dig into the statistics, and will challenge you to tell me the crop you picked and the percentage of increase you calculated when you tried to recreate my results.
I do business in China and have direct employees there, and know a bit about the advantages to my company, but your analogy doesn't support your argument.
You own IPhone example provides good reasons why we might want to keep the illegals in Mexico growing crops there at a cheaper price, and importing them just like we do with the IPhones.
With the IPhones in China, we don't subsidize those workers in any way, they do the job and get paid for the job.  
With produce we do subsidize illegals with copious amounts of tax money so what they get paid by the farmer is only a down payment.
Phil Greenough Added Feb 19, 2018 - 8:02am
My bad, of course it’s true that depending on the type of fruit and machinery a particular farm may possess, labor isn’t that big a cost.  A situation like that has no bearing on this conversation.  We’re talking about situations where cheap labor is needed.  Besides, when margins are thin, a 10% rise in any cost can take a profitable operation and make it unprofitable. 
It’s your opinion that illegals cost more than they benefit society and my opinion is that they benefit society more than they cost.  However, let’s assume I agree with you, what happens next?  Will you forcibly round up all the illegals and put them on buses out of here?  Will you put their kids on the same bus or have foster families at the ready to care for them?  Or will you attempt to starve them by denying their access to work in hopes they’ll self-deport?  I figure we might as well let them work because I don’t see either scenario is being realistic.  Besides, their work clearly has some benefit, versus attaching them all to the teat of the state.  So I repeat, what happens next?
It’s one thing to be against illegal immigrant labor, quite another to be against free trade.  At least you justify your position on account of the belief that workers in other countries are slaves or mistreated terribly.  There is a mountain of evidence to support the fact these workers go to work willingly.  So I think your position is nothing more than a back-door way to be against free trade on account of America’s higher moral standards.  I also find your anti-corporation bias highly disappointing from a member of the right.  Isn’t it fascinating how at the extreme edges of both major parties, the rhetoric starts to sound the same?
George N Romey Added Feb 19, 2018 - 11:23am
This quest for cheaper and cheaper labor has done nothing but turn America into the land of debt peonage. Americans try to hold onto the American Dream by working longer hours and going into debt.
I grew up with Depression era parents. Their ability to get a college education on a scholarship (mother) and GI bill (father) enabled us an upper middle income life. They had no mortgage or credit card debt. Their story is no longer.
Phil does zero research. He just spouts off theories in his head, for example illegal immigration is a plus when all evidence points otherwise. Maybe it’s that he desperately wants to be in the .01%.
One day all of this will economically destroy this country. Take away the unnatural low interest rates, endless money printing and debt along with hocus pocus government stats like the unemployment rate and GDP and we’d be 1932 all over again. 
George N Romey Added Feb 19, 2018 - 1:32pm
You are right. In the 1930s people had land. My father’s family grew their own vegetables and fruits and even had chickens despite living in an urban area. 
Rusty Smith Added Feb 19, 2018 - 1:40pm
Phil Greenough you have just surprised me with a thoughtful reply,  and I am pleased to share my opinion regarding your question about where to go from here.
I don't favor an illegal roundup or think one is necessary, if jobs and tax payer subsidized benefits are no longer attracting them they will self deport.  Even if they don't it's not their presence here that hurts us, it's the fact that on average, they suck far more out of our economy than the give back.  They are expensive guests, but only as long as we continue to support them.
I would start mandating something like E-Verify to qualify everyone for all employment, and every benefit that costs someone other than them money, but would allow private sponsorship.  I wouldn't deny them something like a hospital visit if they couldn't pay for, but the next step would be deportation and I would not allow them to return until they paid off their debt.  Would expect the same in any other country if I needed their taxpayer support.
I would stop the interpretation of the amendment used to give citizenship to the children of slaves, to the children born in the US from people visiting or working here from another country.  They are not the same and the US would not be alone if we denied visiting people's children citizenship.  
I would develop a real guest worker program that focused on the needs of companies here.  Employers would be expected to pay for all the costs that result from their worker's stay in the US, including the educational and medical costs consumed by family members if they come here.  If I work in other most other countries no one there will pay for my kids education or medical care, and I think it should be the same here.
And yes, I'd build a real wall and patrol it.  None of this high tech garbage that can work great one minute and be ignored or non functional the next.  I don't know anyone that secures anyplace that's really important with cameras but no walls, or locks.
If it's not easy to get in, and there is no free stuff on this side, those who are here but shouldn't be will find a way to go home and if their children depend on them for their survival, they will go with them.
I do feel sorry for the dreamers, and those that signed up I'd let stay here because "they" didn't do anything wrong and if they want to stay knowing they can't bring their families here for more than a visit, I'd let them.
Enter your comment here...
Phil Greenough Added Feb 20, 2018 - 7:07am
A conversation regarding your political philosophy is sufficiently off-topic from this thread to warrant a long-winded exchange.  Again, I encourage you to write an article of your own.  The point I wanted to make is that a person with an immigration stance such as yours is clearly a Donald Trump voter and a person with the opinions you have on corporations, sounds a lot like a Bernie Sanders voter.  It must have been a difficult decision for you, but I suspect your anger over illegals trumped (pun intended)  your displeasure with corporate America.  
“This quest for cheaper and cheaper labor has done nothing but turn America into the land of debt peonage.”
When you factor in the cost of providing Obamacare,  businesses are spending more than they ever before on labor.  That being said, it behooves all businesses to produce their goods and services at the cheapest possible cost and maximize profit as best as they can.  The pursuit of doing that has nothing to do with debt.  The reason the nation is in debt is because its government spends way too much. 
Are you saying my previous replies were not thoughtful?  What makes my last reply more thoughtful than the others?
The struggle immigrants took to get here, coupled with the terrible conditions in their home country, means they aren’t leaving anytime soon. So unless you resort to Nazi Germany style tactics of forcing people to walk around with papers, I don’t think self-deport is a realistic possibility. 
As for denying them free stuff, I’m all for that.   However, we’re not the type of country that denies children the right to receive an education, the sick/injured access to a hospital because they don’t have enough money or the hungry food.    
So between allowing immigrants the ability to provide for themselves or having the government provide for them, I choose the former, as there is no other realistic alternative.
George N Romey Added Feb 20, 2018 - 10:58am
As others have pointed out labor costs are not the biggest expenditure in agriculture.  So we pay a dime or an even a quarter more for strawberries.  I have to laugh that Phil who prides himself as being with the .01% somehow is upset that he might have to shell out another 25 cents when he buys strawberries.  He is emblematic of our "me, me" culture. His article on minimum wage proves how out of touch he is and that he believes others around him should work for slave wages so he can have "cheap stuff."
Phil Greenough Added Feb 20, 2018 - 11:31am
I have more important things to do with my time than sling insults with you. 
For the 12th time, illegal immigrants make it so that we’re the #1 strawberry producing nation in the world.  Accordingly, their labor has created many high paying jobs for American Citizens.  This is not about saving a few cents on strawberries at the grocery store. 
Rusty Smith Added Feb 20, 2018 - 3:22pm
Phil Greenough please explain how subsidizing illegals so they can live here and pick strawberries "has created many high paying jobs for American Citizens? 
I fail to see the connection or the high paying jobs unless you are counting the border patrol agents who are paid to keep them out.
Phil Greenough Added Feb 21, 2018 - 8:44am
We’re not subsidizing them, they’re subsidizing us. You see, thanks to their labor we have the largest strawberry industry in the world.  Thanks to their labor we get our lawns cut cheap.  Thanks to their labor, my kids were cared for, enabling my wife and I to continue our careers.  Etc, etc. etc.  Also, because they’re young, they aren’t a huge burden on our social welfare programs.  However, even if you should disagree with me, there is no other viable/sustainable option then letting them work. 
Rusty Smith Added Feb 21, 2018 - 10:23am
Phil Greenough I worked in Oxnard for 2 years, the Strawberry capital of the world, and guarantee you no migrant worker's family pays enough taxes to compensate taxpayers for the $10,000 educational cost a year each of their children consumes.  
California produces about 3/4 of the worlds strawberries, but migrant workers who live here all year never make enough to offset what we spend to put their kids in school, much less pay enough taxes to do it.  At their income levels they pay NO taxes even if they file returns, not because they are illegals, but because they are poor.  Poor people don't pay much tax.
Of course I'm assuming you are not paying them a lot more than minimum wage so they aren't paying taxes.  If you're like most people I know who use illegals to cut their laws and watch their kids, you don't give them benefits like medical insurance much less pay for their kids educations, taxpayers do that.  So you like the farmers are getting a great deal and taxpayers are stuck making up the difference.  
Yes, WE, the taxpayers are subsidizing them, even as you continue to enjoy using them to do your grunt work at price that's so low that you should have known it isn't enough for them to survive on.
Who do you think pays for their kids education, their medical care, and all the social benefits they collect?  And why do you not think any of that should be counted when we try to figure out what it really costs to keep them here.
Phil Greenough Added Feb 21, 2018 - 1:35pm
47% of Citizens pay no income taxes.  One difference between immigrants and the portion of this country that pays no income taxes is that immigrants work.   The biggest difference is that a huge swath of that 47% are the heaviest user of social welfare payments (the elderly) and immigrants are generally young and able-bodied. 
Not only do immigrants work, they work for lower wages than American Citizens.  Seeing that labor is generally the biggest cost for any organization, we all benefit from their labor in a lower cost of living.  Not to mention all the industries that are competitive on the world stage thanks to access to low wage workers.    
I admit there is some cost to having them live here, such as the cost of educating their kids.  Why can’t you admit to the various benefits we receive?  It’s like every time I bring those benefits up you completely ignore them. 
And spare me the morally superiority crap.  In providing illegal immigrants work, I’m giving them what they want.  In denying them work, you’re making their lives more difficult.  I’m sorry Rusty, but you’re not going to be able to starve them out, so you might as well learn to live with them and build a wall. 
Rusty Smith Added Feb 21, 2018 - 5:41pm
Phil Greenough illegals kids still go to school at $10,000 per year per kid and they still use our medical facilities, so you tell me, who do you think pays those costs?
Yes illegals work for less and are often happy to work for employees who don't give them things like workers comp insurance or report their income so people like you, and unscrupulous companies do save money that they'd have had to spend if they had employed citizens and paid them fairly.  Did you get workers comp for the people who who watched your kids, how about disability insurance, workers comp insurance, and your portion of their social security payments?
Perhaps if you were willing to pay all those costs and offered a fair wage perhaps you could afford to hire American College Students instead of people from other countries.  Perhaps more students could afford college because most of the entry level jobs wouldn't be taken by illegals, like is the case near where I live.
Don't forget to tell me who you think pays for your housekeeper's kids educations.
Phil Greenough Added Feb 22, 2018 - 9:10am
I can see that no matter how many times I bring up the many benefits of illegal immigrant labor, you’ll completely ignore those benefits and only focus on the cost.  Very well, let’s focus on cost.  The $10,000 cost to attend public school is a bullshit number.  Almost all public school systems cost what they cost because of teacher pensions, bloated administration and mismanagement.  So you could kick out every single illegal immigrant right now and the cost to operate those schools would be approximately the same. 
Furthermore, it’s a false accusation that illegal immigrant children are attending school in large numbers.  You see, according to our Constitution those born in this country are American Citizens.  To be sure, many children have illegal immigrant parents, but that doesn’t give you the right to kick them out of school.  There are only a handful of illegal immigrant children attending school…good luck figuring out who they are.  Or do you intend to have Kindergartners carry around papers?
Rusty Smith Added Feb 22, 2018 - 10:24am
Phil Greenough That's right Phil, actually about half the $10K cost per student per year goes to things like pensions, and costs associated with financing the school and it's equipment.  By you comments I am pretty sure you've NEVER owned a business.
Ok so lets take some baby steps, $5 K a year actually gets spend on each kid in the classroom; even at that price, illegals don't make enough money to pay taxes to pay for it, so that money is paid by other taxpayers.  Next...
The other $5K are ongoing costs associated with the school and employing teachers, and is directly related to the number of students there are to teach.  It's true pensions that are earned this far do have to be paid, but if we have half the students the costs associated with teaching them will be half, taught by half as many teachers, in half as many schools, with half the pensions and half  school costs that Taxpayers would have to pay for, if there were twice as many students.  
You are right about Americans and the children of illegals who were born her are Americans, but not their parents, or their relatives who currently can be brought in via chain migration and have even more POOR children.  They too are destined to burden the taxpayers because they don't make enough money to pay for any of the social services they get.
My argument is not that the babies they come her to have aren't legal Americans, it's that they are a huge group of low income people who drastically lower our standard of living by living in this country and sucking up far more tax money than they pay in taxes.
Let me give you an example, in California close to half our State budget pays for nothing but education.  The student population in many schools has gone from 90% white to 90% Hispanic, in my lifetime, because of immigration, mostly directly from illegal immigration because illegal dwarfs legal immigration, especially when you consider chain migration.  If those half those people never had come here our school budgets would be half what the are now, and our state budget would require 25% less tax revenue.
You on the other hand the way things are you get to have someone watch you kids who doesn't demand you pay them as much as you'd have to pay American Citizens who can't be taken advantage of by not paying their Social Security taxes, workers comp, and unemployment.  If they weren't here, you'd have to pay a living wage, and provide all the insurances an benefits the law requires.
Oh and I will ask again...  Who do you think pays for your housekeeper's kids educations.
Phil Greenough Added Feb 22, 2018 - 11:29am
Please note, I fully support your effort to keep illegals out of our country.  Where we differ is on what to do about the ones already here.  I choose for them to work for a living and your choice is more public assistance? Or is it praying they pack-up and leave the most prosperous nation in the world and go back to their "shithole" country?
How has my comment caused you to come to the conclusion that I’ve never owned a business?  If you knew anything about business you’d know there are fixed costs and variable costs.  Public schools, while not a business have fixed costs and variable costs too.  You could kick out every kid of the system and I would argue 50% of a schools cost wouldn’t go away.  So take another look at your two buckets of $5k and let me know which one is fixed and which one is variable, as I don’t think you know the difference. 
Rusty Smith Added Feb 22, 2018 - 8:01pm
Phil Greenough I assumed you've never owned a business because  you seem to believe things like pensions or perhaps the costs to provide the schools, should not be considered and when you are in business you quickly learn that all costs must be absorbed one way or another including paying off debts.
If you are in business and buy expensive equipment to do a job you can't just count the down payment as a job cost, you also have to count the payments including financing, interest and principal payments you have to make in the future because you needed that piece of equipment for that job.  You also need to amortize the the building costs for the space the job requires, including maintenance costs.
The number of students defines how many classrooms and teachers are needed and you have to include all the costs, not just the direct pay to the teachers while the kids are in class.
Similarly all the costs related to teachers and the school needed to educate the children of migrant workers must include all those things you seem to think are unrelated.  If the kids weren't in our schools we'd need far less teachers, administrators and classrooms.  All the costs associated with them are paid for by taxpayers who make much more than the poor migrant workers.
Phil Greenough Added Feb 23, 2018 - 8:17am
I recognize all costs must be paid for.  However, your $10,000 estimate to educate illegal immigrant children is a bogus number because even if every child left the public school system, schools would still have at least 50% of their cost structure still in place.  The reason is because roughly 50% of their cost structure is fixed costs.  So it doesn’t cost $10,000 per additional child. 
Furthermore, illegal immigrant children are not making the dangerous journey across the border.  Call them anchor babies until you’re blue in the face, they’re still American Citizens and it’s the obligation of taxpayers to provide them an education. 
My point is that even if you could snap your fingers and kick out every illegal immigrant student, the savings would close to nothing.  This is why your $10,000 number is a fallacy.  Can we now focus on the benefits illegal immigrants provide for our society? 
Rusty Smith Added Feb 23, 2018 - 9:58am
Phil Greenough you are poorly acquainted with the way schools operate.  Please clarify, you didn't like me saying it looked like you'd never owned a business, but never said you had.  What kind of business did you own how many employees did you have?  I'm trying to imagine how you can know so little about business economics and at the same time have owned one.
The elephant when it comes to education is the labor, teachers and administrators.  The schools constantly flex those resources to match the number of students.  If the student load is cut in half they will have half the teachers that year.
Teachers pay and their job security are tied to their seniority in their current job, that applies to the administrative staff too.  If there aren't enough students, the last hired in each job category is the first laid off.  
Benefits are accrued slowly over time and most teachers that are laid off when the school's population drops are not the ones that have earned massive pensions.  If one school closes because there aren't enough students in the area to support it and the others around it, teachers in the school that is closed get transferred to another school close by, based on seniority.  That way the most senior teachers are always retained by the school system.
Schools do close every year, because of local population changes and across the US the number that close every year ranges from the 954 in 1996 to a high of 2120 in 2008.  At the same time more schools are opened in places where they have too many students for the existing classrooms.  There are new and former schools not too far from where I live.  Most people know where the new ones are, but many don't even know the old schools were a school since they turned into other things.
Now that that is cleared up, do tell...
Please do list the ways these people who scrape out a living as migrant workers, pay enough taxes to cover the tax funded benefits they and their children get in return.
And please tell me who do you think pays for your housekeeper's kids educations?
Phil Greenough Added Feb 23, 2018 - 12:41pm
The fact you don’t know the difference between a fixed and variable cost, proves you don’t have any idea how anything operates…public schools included. 
Rusty Smith Added Feb 23, 2018 - 8:08pm
Phil Greenough you sure are good at not answering my questions.  Of course all my budgets contain fixed and variable costs so of course I know the difference, but I chose to stick to things that influence the equation we are discussing, the value added or lost by allowing illegal migrant workers to stay here and continue subsidizing them.
So tell me how it matters whether or not the money we spend so subsidize illegal migrant workers would fall under a fixed or variable cost?  A cost is a cost, and the only difference is that one is less predictable.  Actually there are very few real fixed costs, since eventually inflation effects all my future costs.  Rent is fixed for the term of the contract, I can get fixed and variable loans, wages subject to future negotiations, and pensions subject to market forces and inflation.
Please do list the ways these people who scrape out a living as migrant workers, pay enough taxes to cover the tax funded benefits they and their children get in return, and tell me why I care if they are fixed or variable costs.
And please tell me who do you think pays for your housekeeper's kids educations?
Phil Greenough Added Feb 24, 2018 - 9:33am
I’m not going to answer the question of anyone that’s rude and insulting, nor will I treat those that are rude and insulting with respect.  So if you want questions answered, you’re going to have to change your tone and attempt to comprehend what I write.  I will try again. 
Each additional child that enters a school system does not cost the school system $10,000 (total cost / number of kids).  The extra cost related to educating one new child is the variable cost. It’s not illegal immigrant’s fault schools decided to pay exorbitant amounts of money on teachers that no longer teach.  The point is that even if you kicked out all the illegals, schools will only save the variable cost of educating those children and not the per pupil cost of the school education budget.    
The claim illegals are this huge cost to the public school system is more bogus when you honestly count the amount of illegal immigrant children in the calculation.  You see, every child born in this country is not an illegal immigrant despite your effort to paint them as one.  Can we now talk about the many benefits they provide?    
Rusty Smith Added Feb 24, 2018 - 12:54pm
Phil Greenough I can understand why in view of this forum topic you might be embarrassed to admit you don't fully support your housekeeper with all the benefits I am sure you expect when you work, but I don't see how it's insulting for me to point that out as a correlating example to why the farmers like them too.  
You have a  funny way of looking at the schools for someone who would have me believe you once operated a business.  You definition of variable school costs completely ignores that fact that entire schools would disappear if there were fewer students, and that means everything including what you are calling fixed costs would be gone.
If their children were not here, taxpayers wouldn't need to pay for as many schools, including the teachers, the equipment, the food, the pensions, none of it.
Now go ahead and tell me all the benefits we get that more than compensate us for the tax money they suck up as tax payers pay for all the things their employees, apparently including you, do not pay for.
Phil Greenough Added Feb 24, 2018 - 5:57pm
No matter if I pay an illegal or a legal person, outside of our agreed payment for the service provided, I don’t support either of them.  So what’s there to be embarrassed about?
As for the argument that some fixed costs could decline over time, we agree. However, the majority of them are in place and will not decline anytime soon, that’s why they’re called fixed costs.  For example, if you kicked all the illegals out of school, pensions aren’t declining anytime soon. 
So after having your cost estimate for illegals to attend school and then being honest about the quantity illegals attending school, we get a much clearer picture of the cost and it’s a lot less than you’ve been representing.  The same fallacies exist about the other costs you keep mentioning. 
As fort the benefits, we are the largest strawberry producing nation in the world.  The industry provides all sorts of economic benefits and jobs for American Citizens.  Educating a few kids and paying for some medical costs, is a small price to pay for all that economic benefit.  Would you like some more examples of the economic benefits?
George N Romey Added Feb 24, 2018 - 6:21pm
Less students means less cafeteria workers, less school buses and bus drivers, fewer supplies, etc. 
Phil should be interested to know because of declining school enrollment in the 80s and early 90s school districts cut back on bus fleets. Seven of the ten bus manufacturers were forced to either merge with competitors or go out of business. School attendance began to climb again in the late 90s. Why? In part immigration.
Rusty Smith Added Feb 24, 2018 - 6:53pm
Phil Greenough well I must admit your definition of fixed costs is  not what I had imagined it would be, pensions are not good examples of fixed costs because most have undefined future costs.  What business did you own, a hot dog cart?  Among other things school pensions change to keep up with inflation, and since we don't know what the future inflation will be, the ultimate cost is variable, not fixed.  They could have been fixed if the school contribution was fixed for every year they teach, but it's not, the pensions are not fully funded in advance they are paid largely out of future taxes and the fund's investment returns.
In real businesses we amortize the portion of every cost that it takes to produce a product or in this case keep a student in school, so you might say a teacher that works 20 years would have 1/20th of the cost of their pension, added to what it cost to have them teach every year.  Those costs can be estimated and are part of what Taxpayers have to pay for every teacher that's hired, including ones that are only needed because of illegal immigrants children in our schools.
I'm not sure what you saying in your last opening statement, I thought you were saying it was rude for me to compare your personal employment of illegals to the farmers, if you don't pay their social security taxes, unemployment and workers compensation insurance.  
I still ask, since we know their children go to our schools, and use our medical care facilities for free, who do you think pays for all those free services?   
Rusty Smith Added Feb 24, 2018 - 6:56pm
George N Romey I think Phil thinks the schools and all the staff are always going to be there, so it doesn't matter if they have half or double the students.  He calls the schools fixed costs because he doesn't know how they flex their staffs, number of schools, and yes even buss services based on how many students they have.  He's never noticed it when they closed schools and or laid off staff.
Phil Greenough Added Feb 25, 2018 - 8:37am
Let’s see the link that shows school enrollment declining.
If you kicked out all the students would pension costs also go away?  The correct answer is “no,” which means that’s why the cost is a fixed cost.  To be sure, the size of the obligation can fluctuate based on the performance of the market, but that doesn’t make it a variable cost.  Now do you see why your $10,000 cost to educate an illegal assertion is a bogus number?  Not to mention the fact illegals aren’t attending school in large numbers, a point you have not once addressed.  All I’m saying is that you’re dramatically overestimating the cost of illegals by using bogus math in primary example of their “cost.” Can we go back to the many economic benefits of having illegals here?

Recent Articles by Writers Phil Greenough follows.