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Why Allow Unskilled Immigrants Into the U.S.?

Updated on July 16, 2019
Virginia Allain profile image

Virginia is a passionate progressive and now leads a group of women activists in her retirement community. It's not safe to ignore politics.

Let's Talk About the Need for Immigrant Labor


How Do You Answer When Someone Attacks Unskilled Immigrants?

"A friend posted this today. Comments from the person's "Trump friends" were disgusting. But I have no idea how to answer this. I know I disagree, but I cannot find the right words to explain how I feel. Any suggestions would be appreciated, including "It's not worth answering!" By the way, if I did respond, I would either Private Message or email the person. I know responding on Facebook would just result in a flurry of more nasty comments from the person's cohorts.

"To all my liberal friends (and I do have many)... I can't understand how anyone can support illegal immigration. The impact of the poorer, unskilled workers in our country is painful. Increased numbers of unskilled (or low skilled) workers drive down wages... especially in a supply & demand economy like ours. And the cost to taxpayers just gets higher and higher. So it's a double-edged sword for the low and middle class. Wages going down and taxes going up. Also, housing costs are being driven up, at the same time. Which doesn't help the homelessness issues we are seeing in many of our cities. I just don't get it!"

The question about how to answer a question like this was submitted by Marilyn C. S. of Central Florida.

Only 49.2% of all farm laborers are United States citizens, and nearly 3/4 farmworkers are foreign-born, with nearly 70% have been born in Mexico.

— National Center for Farmworker Health (2012)

A Friend Shared Her Experience

Joan S. said "I don't know a comprehensive answer but I can speak from my experience working for the University of Minnesota & Wisconsin in rural counties. There was/is a labor shortage in agriculture on dairy farms, poultry farms, hog farms, meat processing plants, etc. because "citizens" didn't want to do that kind of work. Immigrants both legal and illegal came from Ecuador, Mexico, Guatemala, etc. to work. Even Somalis moved from Minneapolis to rural Wisconsin to work at the turkey processing plant.

One Ecuadorian family I knew, had a son who went on to attend the University of Wisconsin veterinary school. He graduated as one of the top in his class and is now a large animal vet in Wisconsin ( which there is also a shortage of). Without these immigrants, agriculture would be in an even bigger crisis than it is. We need immigration reform, not Trump's policies."

It's a misconception that “liberals” support illegal immigration. I support people’s right to seek asylum and a path to citizenship. Personally, I think the conservatives have been so brainwashed they don’t see the others point of view

— Pamela W,

Immigrants Are Not the Problem


Understanding the Need for Unskilled Workers

Linda R. answered the question this way, " Because I know the type of responses any comment posted by an intelligent and informed Liberal will generate, I’m inclined to advise it’s “not worth answering.” However...sigh... I could not keep quiet and I’d probably not be too nice!

I’d probably post something along the line of:

I comprehend your statement about the impact immigration has on the “poor and unskilled” US worker. However, I respectfully disagree. I live in central Florida, and I see with my own eyes the menial and filthy labor being performed by immigrants on a daily basis in my community and in the orchards and fields surrounding my community.

  • Now, do you comprehend the fact that most of the jobs taken by immigrants (legal or illegal) are jobs that NO U.S. worker, skilled or unskilled, wishes to accept or will actually do?
  • Do you comprehend those jobs are given to immigrants by US employers because they do not wish—and, in fact, refuse—to pay living wages to their employees, even to U.S. citizens?
  • Does the cost to U.S. taxpayers, due to immigrant employment, continue to climb; are there actual statistics to support this statement, or is this simply a right-wing talking point?
  • Do you understand wages decrease primarily because greedy employers want more for themselves while paying little or no taxes to our government?
  • Every U.S. dollar an employer pays to an employee is one less U.S. dollar in the employer’s bank account!
  • Do you comprehend the citizens of the nations to the south of suffering immensely and much of that suffering is a direct result of the machinations of the USA in their nation’s affairs?"

Please, before you post another negative word about immigrants, do your research on this matter, and you might also consider studying your own family tree!

— Linda R.

In the past, there have been guest-worker permits issued for migrant workers to come in to pick crops. I suggest that our government look at reviving that option.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Virginia Allain


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    • Tiffany Dian Payne Bph profile image

      Tiffany Payne 

      21 months ago from Dallas TX

      Enjoyed reading I also find it shocked on how many people think illegal immigration is bad. Do they not realize how they help with labor citizens choose not to Do

    • Virginia Allain profile imageAUTHOR

      Virginia Allain 

      22 months ago from Central Florida

      If you look, you will see plenty of articles about farmers concerned with a shortage of field labor for picking certain crops.

      If you read my article all the way to the end, you will see that I recommend the government set up some sort of worker visa to accommodate this need.

      As for Ellis Island, that worked because the government set up a process to move the people from entry and into the country. The citizenship process began after that. Trump's efforts are put on bottling up the immigrants in limited places which is causing a horrid situation. That is not what was done at Ellis Island. He has really messed up an already complex situation making it worse than it needs to be.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image


      22 months ago

      Once again, Illegal immigration is not our heritage. The immigrants from Europe came through Ellis Island. The immigrants from Mexico and Central America or anyplace need to do the same thing. When those European immigrants were vetted and allowed to come into the country, the US government gave them nothing, now compare that with what the illegal aliens receive.

      Illegal aliens didn't respect our immigration laws, and now there are over 20 million of them in the US, I hardly find that a shortage of workers, especially with the modern advances in agriculture automation.

      Why should these illegals gain access to the country over the millions of immigrants that follow our immigration laws? And if there is a labor shortage or crisis then it should be addressed by congress with a change in the current immigration law, not by continuing to break the law.

      The European immigrants that came into the country legally, came to America because they believed in the country, The illegals don't care about the US, as they Demand entry into the US, burn American Flags, and Raise the Mexican flag as they did recently at an ICE Facility in Colorado.

      Do the 4 freshman in the house represent your political views. And our their political views the same as those of the rest of the democrats in congress?

      The new EO from Trump says those seeking asylum, need to seek asylum in the first country that they come to, as asylum is about safety and not country shopping.


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