This might almost be funny if it wasn’t so pathetic. In their eagerness to create jobs in Georgia, they neglected to consider that these are the same jobs that legal Americans, us good white people, would never take. It is beneath us.
Now, a month after signing House Bill 87, the bill designed to drive illegal immigrants our of George, these good Georgia Republicans seem stunned to discover the HB 87 is, to put it bluntly, driving a lot of illegal immigrants out of Georgia. There is now a manpower shortage in Georgia. State farmers now have no choice but to leave millions and millions of dollars worth of onions, blueberries, and other crops unharvested and rotting in their fields. These good Republicans now are running for cover, they are horrified at the harm they have done to Georgia’s largest industry.
On May 13 Gov. Nathan Deal, don’t you just love his name…Deal, signed the bill into law. Cameras running, smiling faces and proud as a peacock at what he and his fellow wingnuts had just accomplished. Two week later, with farmers screaming a frightened Deal was forced to hastily request an investigation into the impact of the law he had just signed. Apparently, all this had come as a real surprise to him. The result of this report was not surprising for anyone with a brain. The law left Georgia farms 11,000 workers short of what is needed to operate. Deal is now trying to keep more farmers from losing crops and their farms.
Gov. Deal’s solution: he proposes that farmers try to hire 2,000 unemployed criminal probationers estimated to live in southwest Georgia. Hire criminals. A match made in heaven. Unemployment is high and he wants to hire criminals. Well, the farmers could start with him and his Republican partners in crime. But would he work for an average of $8.00 an hour, without benefits or workers compensation. This is what happens when ideology trumps rationality, which is always the case with Republicans.
Remember when McCain said that Americans wouldn’t take $50/hour to pick lettuce? Well, I would. I think he is wrong. Still, a job is a job. This has always been the problem with so-called illegal immigrants. We need them to harvest our food, clean our homes, babysit our children and do all those jobs we just won’t do, and them complain about them. Say they are stealing our jobs. Keeping American citizens from jobs. There is a website: fairchanceatjobs.com that runs television ads promoting the stoppage of illegal and legal immigration until all unemployed Americans are working again. Well, here is their chance. Will it happen? Not in this lifetime.
How to get out of this? Farmers could solve the manpower shortage by offering higher wages, but that would drive up their operating costs and put them at a severe price disadvantage against competitors in states without tough immigration laws. It means higher food prices for all of us. Good going Republicans.
Republicans will pretend that it is the small farmer that just can’t afford the wages for legal labor, but it is the corporate, mega-farms that depend on cheap labor to increase CEO pay and shareholder dividends that keeps wages low. Anyway, they have to have bribe, no-no not bribe, campaign contribution money to keep from payer higher taxes.
The pain is real. People are losing their crops, and their farms. The small-town business that supply those farms with goods and services are going so suffer also. The very people, small business owners, that Republicans promised the American Dream to.
Deal pledge to find”viable and law-abiding solutions” to the problem that he helped create appear naively unrealistic. Again, if those solutions really existed, they should have been put in place before the bill ever became law, because this impact was entirely predictable and in truth intended.
Republicans forgot the old line: Be careful what you wish for. They now are going to reap what they have surely sown, even if the farmers can’t.