Dairy farmers say they want access to workers without getting into legal trouble. Many say they would go out of business without immigrant labor, and consumers would likely end up paying more for milk.
But many lawmakers on Capitol Hill are running away from the issue. They worry tackling immigration could hurt them at the ballot box this November, and they appear to lack the legislative bandwidth to focus on much besides the ailing economy, joblessness and health-care reform
The bad news—and it is very bad—is what this fairly standard Ag industry bullying effort—"Amnesty Hispanics or no food"—discloses about employment in Wisconsin's Dairy Industry:
Immigrants now make up about 40 percent of the state's dairy labor force, up from 5 percent a decade ago, according to a 2009 study by the UW-Madison Program on Agricultural Technology Studies. Many of the workers are in the United States illegally
In other words, in ten years one in three native-born American workers have been forced out one of the state's traditional industries by illegals. And they have not been forced out because the farmers want the cultural enrichment of speaking Spanish. They have been forced out because illegals are cheaper. Call Ed Rubenstein!
As I pointed out last year, the U.S. Dairy industry is debauching itself with illegal immigration. Huge factory farms manned by hordes of immigrants are displacing family operations with floods of cheap milk. This is happening only because of lax border controls. Without the cheap labor, Dairying would have continued moving to mechanized production.
Cheering this process on in the article we find an old favorite, Craig J Regelbrugge, "Co-Chairman, Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform." Regelbrugge endeared himself to VDARE.com's readers during the efforts to engineer Amnesty in the Bush years by saying of the Republicans:
"…the party's going to have to choose between the closed-minded restrictionists and the business base. Who's really the base of the base? Farmers and businesspeople, or the others?"
and has popped up since, always calling for floods of cheap labor.
Tell Regelbrugge to wise up.
Wisconsin's Congressional Delegation is a sorry bunch, grading C- in the Number USA rankings, so it is nice to hear:
U.S. Reps. Steve Kagen, D-Appleton, and Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, as well as U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Milwaukee, all avoided answering questions when asked face to face about immigration reform
(Numbers USA rankings C-, C and D+ respectively.
But it is hardly surprising when the articulate ferocity and high quality of the article's comment thread is considered—for instance Ali 999:
Maybe some of those dairy farmers SHOULD go out of business, given that the oversupply of milk has driven prices down. (Also, a number of dairy farmers are immigrants themselves from the Netherlands, attracted here by cheaper land prices, the result of which is—more milk production than we really need.) Furthermore, that "cheap" labor that dairy farmers want is really only cheap to the employer and the worker. The rest of us subsidize that cheap illegal labor with healthcare, educations for the kids, etc., while we also directly subsidize the farmer.
It is worth following.