A business-backed, pro-migration advocacy group openly says the federal government can and should cut Americans’ food industry wages by importing more legal migrant workers.
The reluctance of many Americans to work in the meat and dairy industries has forced employers to raise wages by one-third since 2020 — albeit to just $40,000 per year — says a new report by the American Immigration Council, a pro-migration advocacy group.
Those long-delayed pay gains are good for American employees. They also fuel consumer spending and economic development in their rural communities, which is a benefit for legislators who oppose cheap labor migration.
But the pay gains are raising the retail costs of the employers’ meat and dairy products by about six cents on the dollar, says the report, titled “Tending to America’s Food Supply.”
So the pay gains — and the commingled inflation — have offset the companies’ stock market gains since President Joe Biden restarted the inflow of illegal migrants in January 2021.
Biden’s deputies have announced they will lift the Title 42 barrier at the southern border on May 23, allowing a vast wave of wage-cutting, rent-spiking migrants into America’s job and housing markets. https://t.co/TispM07U2L
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) April 1, 2022
The fix for the rising wages and prices, according to the AIC’s report, is to force down the Americans’ wages by flooding Americans’ national labor market with cheap and desperate legal migrant workers:
The current labor crisis, which is forcing employers to pay higher wages to attract workers, has increased production costs even more.
The labor shortage has led to increased production costs for farmers and employers and higher food prices for American shoppers. If the United States is to stabilize its food workforce—and thus stabilize prices—it must consider expanding temporary work visa programs.
The AIC report admits that Americans fill the majority of jobs in the meat and dairy sectors. Americans comprise 74 percent of drivers in the meat industry, 55 percent of meatpackers, 80 percent of workers in the livestock industry, and almost 80 percent in the dairy industry.
“It’s despicable this organization would demand that the federal government reduce Americans’ wages by importing additional foreign labor,” said Rosemary Jenks, the director of government relations for NumbersUSA. She told Breitbart News:
It also means higher housing costs and worse education outcomes because we have to support the Americans whose wages have been cut, and you’re going to have to support the [low-wage] foreign workers … It is just beyond me how they can have such disregard for their fellow Americans.
Even President Joe Biden has denounced proposals to cut inflation by cutting wages.
The AIC wants to import more foreign workers via the legal H-2B program and the uncapped H-2A program.
The government’s H-2B visa program brings in about 100,000 workers per year, mostly for summertime landscaping, recreation, and hotel labor.
There is no limit on the inflow of H-2A workers, but farm employers complain the skilled and tough migrants still cost too much. In 2021, some rural-district House Republicans won Democratic approval for pay cuts to H-2A workers by backing the Democratic plan to legalize and naturalize millions of migrants.
The plan was backed by more than two dozen Republicans, including Rep. Dan Newhouse — an orchard owner in Washington state — Rep. Peter Meijer (D-MI), and Rep. Peter Fitzgerald (R-PA). Both Newhouse and Meijer are facing strong primary challenges.
However, that bill was blocked by grassroots opposition in Idaho and other GOP-led states.
On July 12, advocates for cheap farm labor held a press conference to revive the dormant legislation, according to Bloomberg.com:
Republican Reps. Dan Newhouse (Wash.), Jim Baird (Ind.), Doug LaMalfa (Calif.), and Mike Simpson (Idaho) joined the American Business Immigration Coalition and agriculture groups outside the US Capitol on Tuesday to push the issue as a matter of economic security.
Happening now: GOP lawmakers call on the Senate to pass legislation revising the ag visa system and helping migrant farmworkers legalize. (@SenatorBennet & @MikeCrapo are negotiating in that chamber) pic.twitter.com/cJ0c3lZIrr
— Suzanne Monyak (@SuzanneMonyak) July 12, 2022
The AIC’s boast that legal migrants cut American wages reverses prior denials by pro-migration groups.
Previously, pro-migration lobby groups insisted that immigration did not cut blue-collar wages or white-collar salaries. This pitch was even echoed by credulous journalists, despite the everyday recognition that prices drop when supply exceeds demand, whether in urban rents, housing prices, gasoline prices, and journalists’ wages.
Breitbart News has collected numerous examples of employers, investors, Democrat-aligned experts, and pro-migration academics who admit that extraction migration cuts wages for American blue-collars and white-collars.
There is much contradictory evidence to the farm industry’s claim that it needs cheap, government-supplied migrant workers.
Hiring in the agriculture sector is far easier than in other sectors, says the June economic report by the NFIB business group. Sixty-two percent of companies in construction have job openings, as do 50 percent of companies in the transportation sector, but just 29 percent of companies in the agriculture sector have job openings, said the report.
The sector has plenty of potential workers because the administration has allowed a massive inflow of at least 1 million job-seeking migrants across the southern border. Many of the illegal economic migrants have been given temporary legal status and work permits by Biden’s deputies.
Also, if the companies do not want to pay higher wages, they are able to invest in high-tech automation that would maximize the productivity of their American labor. However, many companies are eager to exploit the federal government’s easy migration policies to preserve their continued reliance on cheap and disposable stoop labor.
There is growing evidence that Congress’ refusal to provide cheap migrant workers is pressuring the farm sector to automate stoop-labor jobs.
Stoop labor by hard-working migrants — both legal and illegal — is common throughout the farm sector, despite the productivity gains since the start of the industrial revolution in the early 1800s.
The result is that many American farm companies are technologically far behind their U.S. and their foreign peers, and depend on illegal migrants.
Farm workers don’t clock in to work like many of us. These tomato workers are issued a card that is punched for every bucket of tomatoes they pick. They are paid by the number of buckets they can fill in a matter of hours. #WeFeedYou pic.twitter.com/rBoxe0fY1V
— United Farm Workers (@UFWupdates) July 10, 2022
Juan has worked harvesting radishes in Moorpark CA for 20 years. He asks the Senate to pass immigration reform so farm workers like himself can continue working in the fields harvesting the food we eat with more security. #WeFeedYou pic.twitter.com/DYblY3ta0E
— United Farm Workers (@UFWupdates) July 11, 2022
Jaime shares this video of the garlic harvest in Bakersfield CA. He starts his day at 400am so he can be done before the temp reaches 100. Usually by 10am they are sent home. Some have a second job to go to but others will go home to rest to do it all again tomorrow. #WeFeedYou pic.twitter.com/8tTMKRPsJm
— United Farm Workers (@UFWupdates) July 11, 2022
The tomato harvest in Le Grand CA is underway. Chemo is thankful for another day of life and work and the opportunity to keep supporting his family doing honorable work. Chemo is paid for each bucket he fills so he must be fast and skilled. #WeFeedYou pic.twitter.com/kBX4s7wj7v
— United Farm Workers (@UFWupdates) June 30, 2022
Gonzalo is working in the strawberry harvest in Oxnard, CA. He gets paid $2.10 a box of strawberries. He shares, "It is a very difficult job because I spent 8 hours a day bending over and my back hurts." #WeFeedYou pic.twitter.com/Cn2gmWlHv4
— United Farm Workers (@UFWupdates) July 10, 2022
BREAKING: Mushroom workers at Ostrom Mushroom Farm in Sunnyside WA pass resolution to be represented by the UFW. Sign their petition demanding recognition & a workplace free from threats, excessive pressure, harassment and retaliation! https://t.co/DimSeWhTiD #WeFeedYou pic.twitter.com/XBrCLQL2ho
— United Farm Workers (@UFWupdates) June 29, 2022
I paid $1 for a single ear of corn that I ate w dinner last night. Ramon and other farmworkers like him are paid far less ($1 for an entire heavy box he fills), despite backbreaking work under tough conditions. Farmworkers deserve our respect and a living wage for their service👇 https://t.co/oTINcz3oZ9
— Dr. Faisal Moola (@faisal_moola) July 4, 2022
Since at least 1990, the D.C. establishment has extracted tens of millions of legal and illegal migrants — and temporary visa workers — from poor countries to serve as workers, consumers, and renters for various U.S. investors and CEOs.
This federal economic policy of Extraction Migration has skewed the free market in the United States by inflating the labor supply for the benefit of employers.
Extraction migration has also slowed innovation and shrunk Americans’ productivity, partly because it allows employers to boost stock prices by using cheap stoop labor instead of productivity-boosting technology.
Migration undermines employees’ workplace rights, and it widens the regional wealth gaps between the Democrats’ big coastal states and the Republicans’ heartland and southern states. The flood of cheap labor tilts the economy towards low-productivity jobs and has shoved at least ten million American men out of the labor force.
An economy built on extraction migration also drains Americans’ political clout over elites, alienates young people, and radicalizes Americans’ democratic civic culture because it allows wealthy elites to ignore despairing Americans at the bottom of society.
The economic policy is backed by progressives who wish to transform the U.S. from a society governed by European-origin civic culture into a progressive-directed empire of competitive, resentful identity groups. “We’re trying to become the first multiracial, multi-ethnic superpower in the world,” Rep. Rohit Khanna (D-CA) told the New York Times in March 2022. “It will be an extraordinary achievement … we will ultimately triumph,” he boasted.
The progressives’ colonialism-like economic strategy kills many migrants. It exploits poor foreigners and splits foreign families as it extracts human-resource wealth from poor home countries to serve wealthy U.S. investors. This migration policy also minimizes shareholder pressure on U.S. companies to build up beneficial and complementary trade with people in poor countries.
Business-backed migration advocates hide this extraction migration economic policy behind a wide variety of noble-sounding explanations and theatrical border security programs. For example, progressives claim that the U.S. is a “Nation of Immigrants,” that migration is good for migrants, and that the state must renew itself by replacing populations.
The polls show the public wants to welcome some immigration — but they also show deep and broad public opposition to labor migration and the inflow of temporary contract workers into jobs sought by young U.S. graduates.