Chambliss on Immigration

He’s right. Agribusinesses in Georgia depend on immigrants. And I don’t believe the crap from a lot of the anti-immigration side that Americans would be willing to plow the fields if we did not have immigrants. Probably they would, but not for cheap. Prices would have to correspondingly go up if that happened. But, let’s not gloss over the fact that an illegal alien’s first act upon entering the country is breaking the law.

It’s “critically important” that agriculture be at the forefront of discussions of immigration reform, says U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga.Chambliss said he plans today to introduce a bill that promises to provide a stable work force for the production and harvesting of crops while strengthening protection of the nation’s borders and increasing penalties for companies that hire illegal immigrants.

Chambliss told reporters Monday that the bill is based on four principles: prevention protection, accountability and compassion. “If we can’t stop the inflow of illegal immigrants into this country, we are not going to be able to change our laws in any positive way whatsoever,” he said.


  1. Booray says:

    Prices would go up, but I think Americans are willing to pay that as the cost of enforcing the law and stopping the immigration mess.

    In addition, costs would go down elsewhere as the burden of healthcare costs (Medicaid, etc.) goes down.

    Enforce the law. Americans will stand behind you.

  2. Melb says:

    Prices would go up and healthcare costs would stay the same because you have to give service to anyone who enters the emergency room and illegal immigrants come here for the jobs not the healthcare! As long as there are available jobs there will be immigrants. The only way to stop the inflow of illegal immigrants is to allow more to cross the border legally. Chambliss knows this and he also knows Americans are not willing to pay more and they will not stand behind that. They already pay high prices and I don’t think Americans can afford to pay more, more for houses, gardening, food, services, and the list goes on. Not to mention our economy going to crap. Why enforce a law that doesn’t work and is impractical, change it, this is not a law of moral right and wrong, this is a law about workers in our country and the flow of immigration. Make it work for all so that business can have the labor they need, Americans can pay cheaper prices, and immigrants can have the jobs they so desperatly need. People would not come here illegally if they could come by legal means, but there is hardly any opportunity to do that.

  3. Booray says:

    Can you not see the COSTS associated with illegal immigration? Monetarily and otherwise?

    I am not a “pull the drawbridge” kind of person, and nor are most of the people I know. But the influx is too fast and too much for our systems of government/culture/support to bear. In another day and age, this many people coming across a border in such a brief span of time would have been considered an invasion.

    It has got to slow down, and it must happen now.

    And if you think Americans are not fed up enough to pay more for their tomatoes to make it happen, you’re out of touch.

  4. Mike Hassinger says:

    Let’s see some of those “costs,” Booray. How much does Georgia spend on indigent healthcare for illegals? What’s the dollar amount for the education of the children of illegal immigrants?

    I don’t think anyone has polled on the issue yet, but I for one would rather have illegal immigrants in this country than have to pay more for my tomatoes.

  5. You know that when Nixon was Governor of California they had a similar issue. they started enforcing the laws, and the tomatoe industry went more automated.

    Stop Illegal immigration. I am all for Legal Immigration for heavens sake can not you see the security risks man.

  6. Melb says:

    You make broad generalizations and you have no way to prove what you say becuase the Georgia state government doesn’t keep tallies on the services they give, meaning they don’t ask if you are legal or not. So you don’t know the costs and you don’t know the consequences either, or you don’t care. Don’t assume that I am out of touch with the general population when your party had to pay people to rally against illegal immigration.

  7. Brian I’m guessing most of the shit jobs that can be automated have already been automated. I call them shit jobs because I doubt most of the people that comment on this board would want to do them even in a million years even if the pay was good.

    There is a pretty simple solution to this problem that would probably kill the American agribusiness economy: make it illegal to hire illegals, enforce the law, and require the agirbusiness employers to pay the minimum wage to documented residents. Sort of voter ID for the fields.

    Yet business knows this would be their death knell. Consumers would not support the increased costs. I don’t know this for sure, but I’d bet the price difference between importing most of the products from a third-world country is much cheaper than the difference in wages between illegals and American citizens.

    I’m not your average liberal WalMart hater (I think the problem is with the American healthcare system, not one employer) but conservatives can’t be rah rah on consumerism (which is fueled by places like WalMart that sell cheap imported goods) and also want to eliminate cheap labor here in the states. They’ve got small farmers and businessmen by the balls: you must have a cheaply produced final product but you won’t be able to find any cheap labor.

    As far as the Minutemen go, I think they are way to extreme to appeal to a majority of Americans even though probably a majority of Americans are concerned about this issue. Republicans need a Sonny for immigration: someone who seems moderate but has a killer issue like the flag that gets the attention of the extremists while reassuring the squeamish moderates because it doesn’t seem that offensive to them. The minutemen aren’t that group.

  8. waterboy says:

    Chris –
    Agribusiness DOES follow the law of hiring workers and they pay a hellofa lot more than minimum wage. When workers are hired they must show a form of identification. If the id looks to be valid and the employer does not accept it, then the civil rights of the worker have been violated and the employer is accountable, which is where your liberal lawyer buddies swoop in. So, if you need workers and they have the appropriate id (which may or may not be legitimate) then you will hire them. In addition, several large farming operations have to utilize the federal program that Senator Chambliss references in his legislation. Those workers get a wage that is set for a region and is over $8.00 per hour, PLUS the farms must provide housing and transportation. Hardly a free-for-all labor source that the general public thinks it is. I hope my comments have redirected your thinking.

    It is the illegals at QT and other establishments that are the problem – not the employers trying to follow the law and that are now being scrutinized. You are right in that most Americans do not desire this type of work thanks to the liberal unemployment and welfare systems that have been implemented.

  9. Decaturguy says:

    Oh, Waterboy, just call something or somebody “liberal” and you think you’ve won an argument? Please.

    Illegal immigration is an issue that has the potential to split the Republican Party more than any other issue out there. It’s similar to gay marriage was for Democrats.

    Cracking down too hard on illegal immigration means businesses would have limited access to cheap labor, labor (in general) would be hard to find, wages would skyrocket, which would mean high inflation and high prices for consumers. Is that the platform (high inflation, high prices) that Republicans want to run on?

    What would happen to the homebuilding industry if it did not have access to plentiful, cheap labor? Or any other small businesses that relies heavily on plentiful, cheap labor? Oh, by the way, homebuilders and small businesses are a key Republican constitutency.

    Waterboy, it is definately not the “liberals” who have prevented a crackdown on illegal immigration. It is the business wing of the Republican Party who has prevented a crackdown on illegal immigration. Overlooking the security risks of unchecked illegal immigration, the business wing of the Republican Party has determined not that the costs of illegal immigration are too high, but that without illegal immigration, the costs to the economy would bee too much to handle.

  10. waterboy says:

    Decaturguy – what are you talking about. You must be listening to the voices in your head because my post never said liberals were the reason for illegal immigration. Read it again and try to pay attention. This is not an R or D issue – it is an R and D issue.

  11. Actually you blamed immigration’s cheap labor on liberal welfare and unemployment laws that prevent Americans on the dole from doing them. However, it seems your understanding of how those laws work is about as weak as my understanding of agribusiness 🙂

  12. waterboy says:

    Let me ‘splain it to you… boys are missing the messages, although it appears quite clear to me.

    “It is the illegals at QT and other establishments that are the problem – not the employers trying to follow the law and that are now being scrutinized.” – simply states that cracking down on legitimate businesses like those in agriculture are NOT the problem, so don’t point the finger and scrutinize them for no reason.

    “….most Americans do not desire this type of work thanks to the liberal unemployment and welfare systems that have been implemented.” – this points out that we have created a work atmosphere for lazy Americans that will not do much of any work, let alone take a job in agriculture. It is a “liberal” system – I didn’t say it was created by liberals (although that is thought provoking).

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