January 18, 2020

Illegal immigrant workers


In recent times, the case of illegal immigrant workers crossing the border to work in farms across the United States has come sharply into focus. This is as a result of the new administration of President Donald Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration, and his resolve to build a wall on the Mexican border to deter it.

The story in defense of these illegal immigrant workers, by both the media and citizens against this policy, has mostly been that “they do the types of back breaking jobs that Americans would not want to do, and for little or nothing in remuneration. Yes, they do that actually but only because that’s the plan: to bring foreigners from poor countries who would take the most paltry payment to do work the employers don’t want to pay Americans to do.

What is happening is a form of outsourcing, only that in this case, the factories (farms) cannot be moved due to both physical and logistic reasons, so, instead, the cheap labor is imported in the form of the illegal immigrants. This is something worked out by the powers that be to compensate those corporations that cannot move their factories in search of cheap labor, like the farming industry.

Think about it, what does a corporation like Ford do if, and when, it wants cheap labor that’s not available here in the United States? The answer is quite simple, it builds a plant in a foreign country where cheap labor is in abundance. What do companies like Apple, Microsoft, or any other  do in the same situation? Same thing, build a factory in whichever country it chooses, but what does a farming corporation do in that same situation? You can’t just move a farm to another country. I don’t think countries will allow you to come use their fertile land in order to grow food for a different country.

This is why the clever method was devised to solve the problem for the immobile corporations. It has a lot to do with that saying about moving to the mountain, if the mountain cannot move to you. If you cannot move to the cheap labor, bring the cheap labor to you. It is for this reason that the case of the illegal immigrant workers will not be solved anytime soon, no matter how much Americans fight each other about it. The corporations which control our government want the illegal immigrant workers because they don’t want pay Americans a living wage to do those jobs.

People say the solution is to do a comprehensive immigration reform which will ultimately give these illegal immigrants citizenship or legal standing. That will be great but the problem with it, in the thinking of the corporatists, at least, is that, if the illegal immigrants become citizens, the corporations will no longer be able to pay the $2 per hour wages they currently pay, as they would be required, by law, to pay the federal minimum wage to the new citizens. That, by the way, is what’s been holding the comprehensive immigration reform despite what both parties have been telling you. It is a bipartisan understanding and every noises both parties have been making about solving this problem is just that: noise.

My point is that it is not actually the immigration problem they’ve been presenting it to be, but an outsourcing one which means that to solve it, we need to address the problem of outsourcing. They’re one and the same thing: the love and quest for cheap labor by our corporations.

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