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Alex Sink's retrograde immigration reform position (maids, landscapers)

On the video below, Florida congressional candidate Alex Sink says this:

Immigration reform is important in our country, it's one of the main agenda item of the beaches Chamber of Commerce, for obvious reasons. Because we have a lot of employers over on the beaches that rely upon workers - especially in this high growth environment - where are you going to get people to work to clean our hotel rooms or do our landscaping? And we don't need to put those employers in a position of hiring undocumented illegal workers.

Sink is a member of the Democratic Party, but that quote has echoes of George W Bush's jobs Americans wont do claim and Karl Rove's quote, "I don't want my 17-year-old son to have to pick tomatoes or make beds in Las Vegas."

Millions of Americans are unemployed, and around 92 million Americans are out of the labor force entirely. The pro-American alternative for Alex Sink would be to take actions to encourage those employers to hire those who are unemployed or lure some Americans back from out of the market. That would have the impact of increasing wages and increasing working conditions. That might also have a net financial benefit when all things are considered (the costs of unemployment insurance, the social costs of high unemployment, etc.)

Instead, Alex Sink wants to go in the opposite direction. She wants to give hotel and resort owners what they want: even more cheap, pliable foreign labor. That would result in lower wages and worse working conditions for everyone: Americans and foreign citizens. Meanwhile, those employers would get to pass the costs of their cheap labor off on to everyone else.

Another dynamic is that some or many of those legalized under comprehensive immigration reform would be able to move up in the job market. For instance, an illegal alien working as an independent contractor landscaper helper could - after being legalized - get an employment contract with a hotel as a lead landscaper, thereby competing with Americans who do that job. The same forces that Alex Sink enables would respond by encouraging those like her to allow a new wave of illegal immigration. The result: lower wages for both entry-level jobs and lower-skilled jobs that are currently mostly done by Americans.

Write @AlexSinkFlorida with your thoughts, and more importantly look up her supporters on Twitter and then make the points above to them.

See video

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 14:55 · Importance: 4