By Attorney Farhad Sethna © 2016
Good morning America! As president-elect Trump puts into place a team of anti-immigration advisers for the transition and a very anti-immigrant Attorney General- Jeff Sessions, it’s time to wake up, my fellow citizens, and smell the coffee!
President-elect Trump vows to deport upto thirteen million “illegal” immigrants. Many of these (three quarters of a million are registered) are DACA recipients- Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – that’s kids, like yours and mine. Not born in this country, not citizens, but pretty much culturally, intellectually, and emotionally just like our kids.
Who’s going to do our dirty work?
Who is going to be standing up for eight to ten hours, deboning chicken that’s frozen solid?
Who is going to be out in the field picking your crops?
Who is going to work in the poultry farms, caring for millions of chickens so that you can buy eggs at your local grocery store for 79 cents a dozen?
Who is going to be harvesting fruit so that you can buy apples for 99 cents a pound at your local grocery?
Who is going to be cleaning your hotel room so you have a nice clean bed to sleep on, clean towels to dry yourself with, and a clean carpet to walk on?
Who is going to be cooking your food and washing your dishes when you step out to eat at a restaurant?
Notice I never even mentioned landscapers? Ok, landscapers too. Else, say goodbye to your nice, suburbian manicured lawns!
On a more professional note, who is going to be driving your taxis, assisting at hospitals, cleaning up after your kids at daycares, or an entire multitude of tasks which employers can’t find American workers for?
Yes, that’s right- can’t find American workers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, under the Department of Labor calculated an unemployment rate of just 4.6 percent for November 2016. 4.6 percent. That’s basically full employment. If you deport upto 13 million people, that leaves an incredibly massive hole in the economy. Assume that just half this number (6.5 million) are working in the USA. If 6.5 million workers are deported, who is going to fill these 6.5 million jobs? Ask any of the hundreds of employers I have seen over the years, who will tell me that they cannot find a U.S. worker to work the hardest, low paying jobs. Those they do find quit in just hours.
Okay, so you will counter with “let’s pay them more”. Fair wages, living wage, Blah, Blah, Blah!
That’s great. Just remember, simple economics: higher wages will result in higher prices. Are you willing to shell out $4.00 for a dozen eggs? Or $10.00 for a watermelon? Or pay $15.00 for a pound of beef? Are you willing to pay $250.00 for a hotel room per night? Are you willing to wait an hour for your table at a restaurant because there is no one to bus the table after the previous customer has left? And on and on….**
No, you won’t. And neither will Congress. Raising the minimum wage is anathema to a Republican congress. Raise wages? Reduce profits? No way!
Immigrants are a critical, integral part of our economy. Many of them do the jobs that no one else wants to do. One day, their children will do more skilled jobs- the jobs that your children and mine are aspiring and preparing for. But for now, we need these immigrants. America needs them, and they need us. They’ve made our country their home. They contribute to our economy, they pay taxes, they allow American businesses to thrive.
Immigrants introduce fresh life into our economy and contribute to our tax base. Their taxes partly pay for entitlements to US Citizens. (Yes, to those who want to deport these “illegals” – their taxes pay for your benefits!) We need them if we’re not going to fall into an economic morass like some European countries. Give them a chance. Keep them here.
The coffee is brewing. And it doesn’t smell too good.
* Some bleeding heart-left winger will probably complain that by using the words “Dirty Work”, I am demeaning illegal workers, etc, etc. I’m not demeaning anyone or the value of anyone’s work. Quite the contrary. I’m using shorthand. We all know what it means. If it wasn’t for someone doing the “Dirty Work”, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy what we all do. Especially because it’s dirty work, the people who are doing it deserve to be respected for their contributions and treated like human beings.
** I recommend the movie “A day without a Mexican” (2004). The summary from IMDB.com reads: “When a mysterious fog surrounds the boundaries of California, there is a communication breakdown and all the Mexicans disappear, affecting the economy and the state stops working missing the Mexican workers and dwellers.” Enjoy the movie. It may be the only humor we will find in this entire tragic situation.
About the author: Attorney Farhad Sethna has practiced law for over 25 years. Since 1996, he has been an adjunct professor of Immigration Law at the University of Akron, School of Law, in Akron, Ohio. He is a frequent speaker at Continuing Legal Education and professional development seminars on various immigration-related topics. His practice is limited to immigration and small business. With offices in Cuyahoga Falls, Akron and Dover, Ohio, Attorney Sethna represents clients in all types of immigration cases. Our number is: (330)-384-8000. Please send your general immigration questions to AttorneySethna@immigration-america.com. We will try to answer as many questions as possible.