Here is the economic result of the jingoist nativist campaign in the U.S. against illegal aliens/migrant workers by CNN's Lou Dobbs, his Fox News echo chamber, and Republican Presidential candidate Tom Tancredo.
Tancredo has Bay Buchanan, working for him. Bay is known for claiming Congress is full of pagans, and is sister of arch nativist anti-immigrant politician and media pundit; Pat Buchanan.
"We're looking to finish in the top half. But we're staying in right through the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire (primary)," said Tancredo senior adviser Bay Buchanan. "We have a lot of momentum and energy building."
The Colorado congressman, whose presidential platform has focused almost entirely on stopping illegal immigration, has centered his campaign in Iowa.
The irony is that Tancredo is the Republican Congressman from Colorado. And his single issue is immigration, or more correctly attacking migrant workers.
The majority of his speech dealt with immigration issues, which Tancredo said has long been an important subject to him.
“When I first came to Congress, the issue of immigration reform was what really motivated me,” he said. “... I still believe it’s the most serious domestic policy issue we face as a nation.”
Tancredo said illegal immigration is causing lost jobs for Americans, wage depression, stress on school systems, higher medical costs, higher expenses for the nation’s prison systems, increased gang activity and increased drug use, specifically methamphetamine.
Perhaps he should be chatting with the farmers in his state who rely on migrant labour and are unable to find workers for their farms. Even under the current American Temporary Worker Visa program. After all Iowa is farm country too. And farmers rely on migrant workers to get their products to market. Even in Alberta.
In the wake of repeated crackdowns on illegal workers, some farmers in Colorado are struggling to bring in their crops with fewer available migrant workers.
The NewsHour reports on how the problem is affecting individual farmers and the American economy.
TOM BEARDEN: Pisciotta and others farmers say increased raids by immigration enforcement officials on farms and businesses, coupled with new anti-illegal immigration laws passed in Colorado last year, have depleted the migrant-immigrant workforce on which they depended for decades. Some of those workers were undocumented.
Bruce Talbott says, as rumors of raids spread through the migrant community, fewer people showed up to work. He worried that immigration officials might show up and disrupt his harvest.
BRUCE TALBOTT, Talbott Farms: My worst fear is to lose a percent, significant percent of my people in the middle of harvest. And because our income -- 70 percent of my income is generated in six weeks. And if that falls apart, there's no way to recoup that.
TOM BEARDEN: Talbott had no choice but to turn to a federal guest-worker program called H2A. It was first established in 1943 and reformed in 1986 during the last round of immigration reform. Last year, farmers throughout the country used H2A to legally bring in more than 59,000 agricultural workers from outside the United States.
BRUCE TALBOTT: The H2A program is the government visa program to bring in farm workers. And it's a very expensive, bureaucratic and cumbersome process, so we've tried to avoid it as long as we could. We always saw H2A as an act of desperation and something you would only do as a last-ditch effort to stay in business. We didn't expect to end up there.
TOM BEARDEN: Talbott says he pays $2,400 each year just to apply to the Department of Labor and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for a specific number of foreign workers. He had to demonstrate that there was no local labor available by placing month-long advertisements in the local papers. Talbot also paid $300 per worker for visas and security certification.
And for each of his 35 H2A workers, he paid $160 for round-trip transportation to and from their home countries. Farmers must also provide free, federally approved housing, and pay a higher hourly wage than has been traditional, a rate set by each state. This year, it is $8.64 an hour in Colorado; he used to pay just over $7 an hour.
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