Steve King debunks cheap farm labor i...

Steve King debunks cheap farm labor in gang bill

Posted in the Steve King Forum

Since: Dec 10

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#1 Aug 31, 2013
Let's move on to agricultural. I represent a rural district
made up mostly of farmers and farm communities, and the people
of Iowa know what it takes to manage and effectively run a
farm. One issue with attracting more American workers to
seasonal agricultural labor is that most migrant workers are
consigned to perpetual poverty. I wish that the United Farm
Workers Union today understood, as Cesar Chavez clearly did,
the devastating impact that illegal immigration has on American
farm workers.
Of course, it is argued by Tom Vilsack, President Obama's
Secretary of Agriculture, that food prices would be three, four
or five times more if it were not for illegal immigrant
workers. This is blatantly false and can't be supported by any
data, and he doesn't even bother to defend himself.
Data from the Secretary's own Department of Agriculture and
the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that labor costs only
represent 6 percent of the price consumers pay for fresh fruits
and vegetables. You could double the pay of workers and see
only a 6 percent increase in consumer prices.
Highly respected agriculture economist Phillip Martin of
the University of California notes that if there was a 40
percent increase in farm wages, the average household would
spend only $8 more a year on fruits and vegetables, less than
the price of a movie ticket. I am sure that most Americans
would gladly pay $8 more a year in order to ensure a legal
Cheap labor is just not worth illegal immigration's cost to
Americans as workers or as taxpayers. The reality is employers
hire desperate aliens who will work for much less than
Americans, driving wages down and making it impossible for
American workers to compete.

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