Immigration Laws Used Selectively
INS Gives Wealthy Farmers a Break -- Here's Why
Publisher's note -- Greens have principles. Libertarians have principles. The Democrats and Republicans claim to have principles, but cave in as soon as they're tested.
Let's see, Republicans are supposed to favor small government and personal liberty and free markets, so they must be in favor of open immigration, right? And Democrats are supposed to favor big government controls and restrictions and labor unions, so they must oppose all immigration, right? Oops, they got it backwards! But it really doesn't matter what they say their principle is -- nothing works faster to shake them away from principles than a phone call from a campaign contributor. Look at this little discovery by the Grassroots News Network.
In May of this year, INS agents carried out a number of raids during the harvest at Vidalia onion farms in southern Georgia. The onion crop, worth about $90 million, is generally picked by undocumented Mexican workers making less than 70 cents for each 50-pound sack of onions they fill. The growers responded to the raids not by apologizing, but by calling their Congress members, two of whom -- Sen. Paul Coverdell and Rep. Jack Kingston, both Republicans -- hurried home from Washington to halt the raids.
Within days the INS agreed to postpone all operations in Vidalia onion fields for the rest of the year. The agency did not even inspect the I-9 forms employers are required to fill out for each worker they hire. The INS did ask growers to provide adequate housing for the workers, who are kept in trailers and overcrowded motel rooms. The growers, however, refused, according to the Washington Post.
Some onion growers had applied to contract H-2A non-immigrant farm laborers, but withdrew their applications and knowingly hired undocumented workers when the Department of Labor said H-2A workers would have to be paid $0.016 per pound of onions picked. Growers insisted they should pay only $0.0125 a pound, and could not provide the kind of housing required for H-2A workers (reported by Migration News).
Rep. Kingston, who helped stop the raids, served on the Republican House Task Force on Illegal Immigration in 1994. "We have no need to apologize for cracking down on those who flout our laws by entering illegally," he said at the time.
For more information, contact the Grassroots News Network at firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you have principles? What are they? (Perhaps you should run for office!) Tell The Progress Report:
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