11 May 2005

Valley Hispanic boycott called a success

Yesterday was pronounced Day Without Hispanics by Arizona Hispanic leaders to protest recent actions by the state legislature.
Several restaurants, carwashes, construction companies and golf courses reported higher absenteeism. Some, such as Baja Fresh Downtown, closed for the day. Lombardi's Restaurant at Arizona Center limited its menu to salads and pastas because of a reduced kitchen crew.

Some roofing companies were crippled by the boycott. An office worker who answered the phone at Catalina Roofing and Supply in Phoenix said none of the company's 160 roofers showed up for work Tuesday.

At San Tan Roofing and Superstition Carpentry in Gilbert, half of the company's 150 roofers and 400 of its 700 framers didn't show up for work, Chief Financial Officer William McGlothlin said. Ninety percent of the company's workforce is Hispanic.

Some of my thoughts on illegal immigration, no doubt repeated from past missives…

  • I have no sympathy for employers who rely upon illegal aliens for their labor force composition. This is where the problem could be really nipped in the bud, if punitive measures were taken against those who provide the greatest incentive for illegal immigration. Until such actions are taken, no other proposed solution will have any significant effect. The argument that my company must hire illegals because the competition does holds no sway with me, as I believe one must always choose the ethical road.

  • I am opposed to any guest worker proposals, as any such programs will in effect render a whole class of people as sub-humans, not entitled to the same rights as Americans, which is totally un-American in my belief. Sure, it will be dressed up in euphemistic wrappers, but bottom line is it will be the equivalent of legalized indentured servitude, with little recourse for those who are on the receiving end of employer abuse and injustice. Not being accorded official "citizen" status should not translate to victim of abuse, or even preferential worker over American citizen.

  • The notion of a huge economic impact due to the curtailment of illegal immigration is total nonsense. The scare mongering that lettuce will cost $10 a head is ridiculous, and recent labor protests have illustrated this clearly — tomato gatherers for Taco Bell recently received double wages after a successful public relations campaign, yet the contract firm was barely dented in their inbound profit flow. Tennis shoes have a raw production cost of a dollar, but they are sold to Americans for $50 and greater. Labor costs amount to a very small sliver of the pie, in just about all fields of commerce and industry.

  • If there is truly a need to import more workers, then fast track provisions should be implemented to allot more legal immigration resulting in more American citizens. Such arguments should undergo critical scrutiny, as employers will always argue that there is a shortage of workers, when they actually mean there is a "shortage of workers willing to work at the wages they are offering".

  • Nothing happens in a vacuum. Illegal immigration brings undesireable elements that accompany honest, hard working folks. It causes deterioration to neighborhoods and a strain on already impacted community resources. Basically, it's a form of corporate welfare where employer receives benefits of a captive labor force whilst other Arizonans must pay (or suffer) for additional services rendered, be it police, school, hospital, park, city or whatever. The most critical of these unintended consequences, is the lowered security and danger introduced to Arizonans.

  • The buck stops with the Bush administration, and simply, they are reneging on their obligation to secure the borders and have turned a blind eye to the problem. But it probably would be no different under a Gore or Kerry administration either, as both parties refuse to address an issue that many Americans feel should be on top of the priority list.

I rarely agree with conservative columnist Thomas Sowell, but this column by him lays out some truths, even if I disagree with his points about a "living wage". He glosses over the natural phenomenon that wages tend to sink to just above subsistence level, and that for many illegal aliens, subsistence level is a mark well below that of an American worker, as there is acceptance of dormitory living and the meager leftover wages are sent back to Mexico, where the dollar goes a lot further.