Now that Congress is voting to build fences, punish burrowing illegals, and require Real ID’s for citizens, (agri-)businessmen and consumers are aghast that improving border security already costs them.
The added expense isn’t just in resources like fence lumber, brick mortar, technology, and security manpower. No, it’s hitting home now that the new efforts to restrict illegal immigration may cause serious economic disruptions. Have you noticed the cost of lettuce lately?
The New York Times reported Friday that some orchards are suffering from a paucity of pear pickers (sorry, William Safire). Turns out that growers in Northern California couldn’t find the labor to pull the fruit from their branches, so now the stench from fallen rotted pears will remind farmers of the year the economics of improved border security hit home. Washington and New York apple growers face similar problems.
Call it the first of the new growing pains associated with a safer country, if Congress keeps it up. America has lived so long with artificially lower costs (partly) associated with inadequate border security that now any serious attempt to protect the homeland may create sticker shock — in this case, the little oval one on your grocery store produce.
Illegal immigration opponents have often expressed their concerns over what aliens are costing taxpayers, because they can access services like health care and education in equal measure without matching the associated outlays that the average legal citizen must make. Now as those objections gradually get alleviated, consumers will now have to get it drilled through their melons that labor costs for agricultural products — i.e., all food — could soar due to the new policies. Less palatable pear prices may be reflected. Look for similar increases in new housing, low-skill services, and fast food, as legal immigrants and natural-born Americans begin to work in industries previously dominated by low-wage illegals. Employers may have no choice but to up their wages to attract a viable, legal labor pool to their previously undesirable jobs — that is, if you buy that argument.
Most Americans appear willing to pay, but the Wall Street Journal’s editors say it’s all so unnecessary. In an editorial published on their website Sunday, they said the border wall with Mexico — “Price tag…: $7 billion” (you are supposed to pause in stunned silence by that figure) — diverges from the Reagan-era policy “to tear down walls, not erect them.” Never mind that the Gipper sought freedom for those under political (and other) oppression, as opposed to today’s need for national protection and limiting the immigration burden. It’s like comparing rotten apples to mushy pears.p>But the Journal didn’t stop there: br> /p>
Last week the House passed legislation that would deputize local police forces as agents of the border patrol. This will further burden local law enforcement that already has enough work handling bona fide felons. What we have here is panicked Republicans engaging in pre-election theatrics as they seek to remind voters that they’re tough on the illegal immigration problem they’ve done nothing to actually solve.br> So law enforcement should only concern themselves with felons who have legitimate IDs? The newspaper is actually right that the GOP is acting out of fear because it has ignored the illegal immigration problem — in many ways because of those who make up the Journal ‘s business choir. But just as bloggers
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?