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Jason Ritchie turns his back on American workers (Washington, Dave Reichert, HandiHabitats)

Jason Ritchie is running to unseat Rep. Dave Reichert in Washington's 8th District.

On immigration, Ritchie is very pro-corporate: he sides with the US Chamber of Commerce and their desire to lower wages by increasing the labor pool. If Ritchie can enact his policies, wages for American workers will fall even more than they have and working conditions will worsen.

One other thing: Ritchie is a Democrat. Rather than siding with American workers, Ritchie is turning his back on them.

For a tangible example, see Ritchie's Huffington Post piece entitled "It's Time for Immigration Reform" ( peekURL.com/zRk4FeE ). Much could be written about how wrong it is, but I'll keep it brief and just concentrate on two parts. First:

This year may be the biggest apple harvest in history, but growers and distributors are worried their apples will wither and die hanging on the trees because they don't have enough labor to pick them all and get them to market.

See the crops rotting in the fields and immigration agriculture pages for how that's wrong and the alternatives Ritchie isn't mentioning. Rather than, for instance, subsidizing American workers to pick crops under good working conditions, Ritchie sides with growers that want to import a foreign serf labor force working at lower wages under worse conditions.

Then, there's this:

The employees at Crunch Pak, the world's leading supplier of packaged apple slices, cannot wait [for immigration "reform"]. Crunch Pak employs 900 people in Cashmere alone. Their business is vital to our district. Just last week, Crunch Pak announced that without reform, they will be forced to let go hundreds of employees who may not be able to prove their status. Loyal employees of Crunch Pak who have worked for the company for over a decade, living and spending in our community, will be told to pack their bags. Families will be torn apart. Cities such as Wenatchee will lose tax revenue and our local economy will suffer.

For the backstory, see "Immigration audit could cost many jobs at Crunch Pak" ( peekURL.com/znZSGP8 ). CrunchPak - knowingly or not - was employing hundreds of likely illegal aliens. The Obama administration sent that company a No Match letter requiring their workers to provide valid work authorization. If they can't do that, Crunch Pak won't be able to employ them anymore.

Compare the solution Ritchie offers to this problem to what I'd prefer.

Under Ritchie's plan, those illegal aliens and millions more would be legalized and could continue to work. Companies that had knowingly employed illegal aliens would get a huge amnesty: comprehensive immigration reform wouldn't seek to punish companies that had knowingly broken the law. There would continue to be "Lots of workers and not enough jobs" (see July 15, 2012's "Jobless picture darkens in E. Wash. metro areas, bucking national trend": peekURL.com/zQkQzB9 ). Ritchie's plan will be OK for foreign citizens, but not so great for un- or under-employed American workers. To make it worse, for various reasons immigration "reform" will lead to more illegal immigration. And, that will lead to lower wages; see immigration wage floor for a detailed discussion. Companies that have lobbied for decades for cheaper labor won't stop and say "that's enough". When their newly-legalized workforce makes too many demands, they'll work to replace them with more compliant foreign labor just as they have done with many American workers. Occasional unionizations won't help much; having a large labor supply is a much stronger force. As a result, wages for many jobs will stagnate or drop, and working conditions will worsen.

That's how things would work out if Ritchie gets his way.

Under my approach, companies like Crunch Pak wouldn't get such a break. They'd have to hire American workers or from a very small pool of guest workers (e.g., H2A visas with a low cap). Companies would be more likely to raise wages, and couldn't undercut American workers by bringing in or encouraging a large supply of foreign competition. Likewise with safety standards: companies know that illegal aliens are less likely to complain about working conditions. Under my plan companies couldn't get away with that. Most or all of those currently working for Crunch Pak illegally would be deported to their home countries. The elites of Mexico like the current situation where they can send people to the U.S. and receive billions in remittances back. They don't have to take care of their own people, they reduce the numbers of people in Mexico that might press for reforms, and they also gain political power inside the U.S. Under my plan, all of that would be lessened. Rather than sending people north, Mexico would have to take the steps to provide for their own people.

Which plan is better overall? In case anyone supports Ritchie's plan or has any doubts about my plan, I want to hear about it. Leave a comment below or tweet @24AheadDotCom.

If you realize that Jason Ritchie is turning his back on his fellow citizens, you can either oppose him outright, or attempt to make him better on the immigration issue. The best way to do either is to use the Question Authority plan to have an experienced questioner ask him questions to his face based on this post. Video of that would go a long way towards either reducing his chances or forcing him to take pro-American positions. But, the even easier thing you can do is simply tweet him questions to @ritchie4wa8. If you get a response, send it to @24AheadDotCom. Most likely you won't get a response, so in that case search Twitter for those discussing him and then send this post to them.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 15:12 · Importance: 4