Mike Thomas of Orlando Sentinel supports exploitation of farm workers to keep prices low (UFW's anti-American takeourjobs)
Mike Thomas of the Orlando Sentinel offers "If illegal immigrants go, produce prices would skyrocket" (link), a breezy attempt to put a happy face on the United Farmworkers of America's anti-American, pro-exploitation takeourjobs effort. The UFW's satire dares Americans to take farmworker jobs, falsely claiming that Americans are too lazy to do hard work. At the same time as smearing Americans, the UFW's effort also supports illegal aliens working in exploitative situations. For more details, see this; the comments about that AP reporter apply to Thomas as well.
If we kicked out all the illegal workers today, Florida orange juice would cost $20 a gallon next week and probably be nonexistent next year. Our entire agricultural industry would collapse... Florida farms, however, grow oranges, watermelon, beans, squash, tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers and so on. These require pickin'... That requires lots of bodies — bodies that climb, bend and stoop for 10 hours a day in the Florida heat with no overtime, no group health and no 401(k) plan... Native-born Americans, wimps that we are, stopped doing this work long ago... [Illegal aliens] do the dirty work, dirt cheap...
1. No one's going to kick out all illegal aliens immediately. We could reduce illegal immigration and the number of illegal aliens over time, and as that happened growers would be forced to raise wages and improve conditions. They'd also be forced to innovate rather than having a ready supply of cheap foreign labor. Labor costs are only a relatively small price of produce costs and if the price went up it wouldn't - and couldn't - go anywhere near as high as Thomas pretends.
2. Instead of higher wages and good working conditions, Thomas is supporting at least the current situation with low wages and bad working conditions.
3. And, of course, the "wimps" line - even said in jest - is anti-American and ahistoric. It's also incredibly bad public policy to encourage or enable "wimpiness".
Mike Thomas then turns salesman:
There is a better solution pending in Congress. It is the AgJOBS bill.
Some of the problems with that bill are discussed in the posts at the link. In the current case, Mike Thomas and the UFW support anti-American policies and worker exploitation now, and passing AgJobs would only encourage them: they aren't going to stop supporting anti-American policies and worker exploitation because AgJobs passes, they're only going to be emboldened. That means that as new illegal aliens are drawn into the U.S. by the AgJobs amnesty, Mike Thomas and the UFW will be there to do what they're doing now: supporting and enabling anti-American policies and worker exploitation.