Saturday, November 12, 2011

Arizona Backtracks on Immigration

It appears that the results of Arizona's SB 1070 anti-immigration law has had a sobering effect on the citizens of that state.  Yesterday, the architect of the law was thrown out by voters in favor of a reform advocate.
Senator Russell Pearce (AZ-18), was soundly defeated by pro-immigrant challenger, Jerry Lewis, in a special election. Pearce authored the viciously anti-immigrant law in Arizona that was passed last year, and has since been duplicated in states across the country.
Pearce’s defeat is a warning bell to other lawmakers considering such legislation that citizens will not stand for these racial and discriminatory measures.
Our allies on the ground, Promise Arizona in Action fought relentlessly in this effort. Executive Director Petra Falcon said the organization will continue to hold politicians accountable: “This victory shows that the citizens of Arizona want fair immigration reform and will not stand for any law that racially profiles any segment of the community,” Falcon said. “It is now time for our community to move forward together, inclusively.”
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Monday, November 7, 2011

Washington State Now Using Inmates to Pick Apples

Washington apple growers have been unable to find enough migrant workers to pick their crops inspite of a wide-spread campagn to recruit pickers.  This is a side effect of the anti-immigration movement nation wide since nearly 400,000 undocumented workers are being deported annually.

Photo:  The Wenatchee World

State apple growers sounded an alarm in recent weeks of a severe shortage of pickers. Signs were put up at orchards. Ads were taken out on radio. Newspapers and TV stations reported the story of the shortage after Gov. Chris Gregoire put out a call for help. Many unemployed workers did apply for jobs, but few stayed.
"It's hard work," she said. There are seven guards to make sure the inmate workers stay on the job until it's done, but it's an expensive proposition for the grower, Wilis admits. McDougall will pay $22 an hour for each inmate. Inmates are paid minimum wage, but deductions for crime compensation, incarceration costs, child support and other bills reduces that to between $1 and $2 an hour. Most of what growers are charged pays for transportation, housing and security. Most inmates picked three or four 800-pound bins of apples in that first day.
So again, we find evidence that undocumented immigrants are not taking jobs away from "normal citizens".  American citizens just don't want to do this kind of work, even if they are out of a job.  And with 9 percent of us officially unemployed, that's a lot of people unwilling to take such a job.

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