Today I’m going to be taking a break from my series on improving the police force in the United States. I still have one post left to write on that subject, but will be shifting focus for one post to focus on current events. Here is a letter I’ve written to be my representative, Congressman Scott Perry on my concerns regarding immigration and the economy, and America’s need for a strong, expanded guest worker’s program in the U.S
First of all, I wanted to thank for your prompt response to the last email I sent you. I did have another concern I would like to address to you partly regarding the state of the U.S economy and partly regarding our current trade and immigration policies. I believe in reading my letter you will see the issues are intrinsically connected, seemingly more than many believe. I do hope you will take the time to read my letter in its fullness and thank you in advance for your time.
First of all, I’d like you to consider the impact of immigration on the U.S economy. According to many notable studies the impacts have been beneficial. Take for example the study conducted by the very school our president graduated from, Wharton School of Business. Their study revealed that if the U.S decreased the number of immigrants coming into the country the economy would suffer. If immigration was increased to accommodate high-skilled and high-demand fields the economy would benefit, but only slightly. If we increased immigration across the board, this study says, the economy will experience a substantial benefit. This principle also applies in Europe as revealed in a study by three French economists in Science Advance. According to this study, the flow of refugees into several European countries has shown that the refugees have brought with them lower unemployment numbers, a boost to GDP, an increase in median wage, and additional tax revenue that outweighed public expenses relating to the presence of refugees.
I would also like you to consider the case of the state of Georgia, which in 2011 began to implement strict immigration controls of its own as a state government. The effort succeeded, that is in nearly destroying the state’s agricultural industry due to intense labor shortages. Many assert this is because the farms are cheap and won’t pay their worker’s a decent wage, however even more recently California farms have been engaging in wage hikes well over minimum wage that have yet continued to fail to lure suitable American applicants. This trend will most certainly continue throughout the country as we continue to shut off our borders both to “illegals” and to those seeking legitimate entry into the U.S, as I have seen in various Republican “immigration reform” proposals by senate and house republicans, not to mention overbearing raids by ICE on businesses that in desperation turn to undocumented migrant labor.
Now take this and add in that stock market values are beginning to see a downturn and that American businesses are slowly starting to move overseas due to the trade war we’ve begun. Now imagine the state of things when harvests rot for lack of workers to pick them on time, and as the agricultural industry in the U.S begins to see smaller yields and smaller profits. Prices in food began to rise as supplies become more scarce, and some farms even begin to close their doors. We now depend on exports for food that come from nations we’ve started a trade war with. These events should surely be concerning more people, and I hope you can see the seriousness of the situation as well.
For these reasons congressman, I ask that if the president is to have his way in putting up his wall (a war that will no doubt end until his term expires or the wall goes up) and if he is to shut the doors on the world, at least put in a safeguard for the businesses that will suffer. I believe what we need is a Guest Worker’s program in this country that can supply these labor demands. Ideally, the workers participating would be exempt from general immigration caps, particularly those that appear to be particularly low on Latin American countries that provide a rich source of this vital industry labor. This would not only benefit the economy but also reduce the number of attempted undocumented workers trying to enter the country, actually improving border security. It would also close tax revenue gaps that result from paying undocumented workers “under the table” due to their illegal status.
As a suggestion, it could also be a self-funding program in that it could be operated like a temp-agency. Businesses participate that need migrant labor, the government supplies it through this program, and in exchange, they pay a portion of their workers’ wages into the funding of the worker’s program, and the excess if there is some could be redeposited into the treasury.
With this program, we can benefit the U.S economy, improve border security, save money on enforcement and detainment from the reduced flow of traffic, and I believe even address at least some humanitarian concerns. In this scenario we are not favoring people who broke the law, risking a burden on the welfare system and we even see a reduced risk from the criminal elements since we would be able to vet and (IF need be) monitor suitable candidates.
I believe this is a scenario where everyone wins, including America. I hope you will consider these thoughts as the discussion on immigration and on the economy continues to unfold in 2018
I thank you again for your time!
-David B. Beaver