Illegal Workers, New Slavery

Excerpted from an opinion piece by Gary Bracken for The Greenley Tribune:

The farming industry in America was once a series of small family farms across the country. Families, such as my father’s family, had many children and thus had plenty of hands to do the farm work. Gradually, small family farms have given way to bigger and bigger farms until today, nearly all farms are large farms and the work is mostly done by the use of large, modern farm machinery.

There are some farms, primarily truck farms, where machines cannot do all the work, and so human labor is required on a seasonal basis. In the Greeley area, farmers encouraged the importing of cheap labor…. Working and living conditions have become so bad in Mexico in recent years that millions of Mexican laborers have come into the country illegally and have stayed. Because farm work was seasonal, they got other work such as service work and remained.

Most of the jobs they got are very low paying, and thus they must depend on other things to survive financially. They have enrolled in welfare programs and have gone to hospital emergency rooms across America where they must, by law, be treated even though they have no insurance and no money to pay for their treatment.

All the welfare and hospital treatment given to these laborers and their families adds up to over $3 billion a year that must be paid by American citizens’ taxes. This program has essentially become the modem version of slavery in America. During the slave days before the Civil War, plantation owners had to buy their slaves and then be responsible for all the expenses involved with owning slaves. In today’s slavery, the employers do not accept all the expenses of their slave labor. Most of the expense is shifted to American taxpayers.

Since a large percentage of these laborers have found other jobs year around, although still low paying, farmers are each year short of laborers and want to bring in more laborers. Today, we have 20 to 25 million, some estimates are much higher, illegal laborers and family members in America year around.

Add to all of this the fact that many businesses have been moved out of the country to places where cheap labor is available. As a result, thousands of American workers are without good paying jobs because the jobs are gone. There is a growing number of American workers out of jobs who must go onto welfare rolls. This leaves fewer tax payers while the demand for tax money continues to rise.

Read the whole piece here.

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