Monday, April 10, 2006

Jobs Americans "Don't Want"

The Washington Times reported today (HT: WorldNetDaily) that President Bush doesn't know what he's talking about. They didn't quite say it that way, though (emphasis added).

An Alabama employment agency that sent 70 laborers and construction workers to job sites in that state in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina says the men were sent home after just two weeks on the job by employers who told them "the Mexicans had arrived" and were willing to work for less.

The truth of the matter is not that illegals are here to do work that Americans don't want to do. The truth is that illegals are willing to work for much less than Americans expect to get.

"After Katrina, our company had 70 workers on the job the first day, but the companies decided they didn't need them anymore because the Mexicans had arrived," [Linda Swope, who operates Complete Employment Services Inc. in Mobile, Alabama] said. "I assure you it is not true that Americans don't want to work.

"We had been told that 270 jobs might be available, and we could have filled every one of them with men from this area, most of whom lost their jobs because of the hurricane," she said. "When we told the guys they would not be needed, they actually cried ... and we cried with them. This is a shame."

Mrs. Swope said employment agencies throughout Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi faced similar problems, when thousands of men from Mexico and several Central and South American countries -- many in crowded buses and trucks -- came into the three states after Katrina, looking for employment and willing to work for less money.

Would-be employers in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi, awash in cleanup and reconstruction jobs, faced little in the way of legal problems in hiring the illegal aliens after Katrina because the Department of Homeland Security temporarily suspended the sanctioning of employers who hired workers unable to document their citizenship.

Mr. Bush also had suspended the Davis-Bacon Act, which requires local contractors to pay "prevailing" wages, in the areas hit by Katrina to encourage reconstruction and cleanup.

President Bush, tell me again that illegals are only taking jobs that Americans don't want. I don't think I heard you the first time.


Christina said...

You know, this argument just doesn't cut it. I know plenty of legal American citizens who will do whatever it takes to support their families. The illegal Mexicans are not the only people in America who are willing to work and work hard.

My dad spent 30-some odd years working for the same manufacturing company. He did everything from operate machinery to shovelling coal off of a train outside in the middle of winter. He worked a swing shift most of those years and he didn't love his job or even like it. He worked because he had a family to support and he did what he had to do.

This notion that there are jobs Americans will not do is nonsense. What is true is that Americans will not work for ridiculously low wages like illegals will. It stands to reason that if the government would enforce their laws against employers hiring illegal aliens, then those employers would have to pay reasonable wages and more Americans would work, not fewer.

This whole issue is so completely frustrating, and I have a feeling it is far from over.

SkyePuppy said...


I have a feeling you're absolutely right.

CG said...

This could be an issue that brings the Republican party down. I don't know anyone in favor or illegal immigration except the leadership of my own party!!!!

SkyePuppy said...


You're right. If there's an issue that can bring down the GOP, this is the one.

But the people who like illegal immigration even more than the Republicans are the Democrats. We absolutely cannot afford to let the Democrats win.

I hate when our choices are catastrophe (Republicans) or apocalypse (Democrats). I think I'll have to take catastrophe, please.