In yesterday’s post, I posted about how difficult it is to have an honest debate about immigration because of the false narratives of the dangers immigrants pose to the country and job-stealing immigrants. These false narratives keep the debate focused on falsehoods thus making it impossible to come to a consensus. Job-stealing immigrants follows behind dangerous immigrants and, sometimes, assimilated immigrants, but the inconvenient truth is that America is great because of immigrants, not in spite of them. Donald Trump voters are realizing this.
The Washington Post listed several Trump supporters who are being financially hurt by Trump’s anti-immigrant directives. In James Hohmann’s article, Trump voter Eddie Devine is quoted as stating that he feels like he was “tricked by the devil” in voting for Trump. Devine’s landscaping business may go out of business because Devine is unable to “find enough dependable, drug-free American workers for his $12-an-hour jobs mowing” lawns. Devine said he used the H2-B “guest worker” visas to hire 20 seasonal workers to keep his business working before. Devine said that it cost him “$18,000 in fees and expenses” above the wages but had no problem doing so for his business. bUt, now becasue of Trump, he is unable to hire guest workers.
Eddie Devine “lost a $100,000 account because he didn’t have enough men to do the job.” Devine is also angry that “Trump’s properties in Florida and New York have used 144 H-2B workers” since Trump was elected. Devine is not the only consequence of a distorted immigrant narrative.
Take for example the Maryland crab industry where Mexican women on H-2B “guest worker” visas are the backbone of the crab industry. Harry Philips, according to CNBC (May 1, 2018), can’t get American workers to work for him. Philips says that American workers aren’t willing to work for the eight months his jobs require. But because of the Trump’s administration tougher restrictions on immigrant labor, including legal workers through “guest worker” programs, Phillips’ company, Russell Hall Seafood, sits empty.
Republican governor Larry Hogan estimates that the economic impact for the lack of immigrant labor is more than $9 million. Hogan argues that it is costing 1,000 jobs in the state. The University of Maryland issued a report that for every guest worker who does not get a worker visa to come work the crabs, the state loses about two and a half jobs.
The Maryland crab industry proves that immigrants are essential to the American workers. Rather than steal jobs they create additional jobs doing the work that American workers are unwilling to do. Besides not taking jobs, the guest workers’ skill sets are sufficient to do the jobs they are hired to do and, apparently, English is not a requirement. This blows all the anti-immigrants arguments out of the water.
In the end, Donald Trump remains a hypocrite by chastising Kirstjen Nielsen for not doing more to keep immigrants out of the country while, Trump’s businesses use immigrant labor to keep his companies going. Trump, meanwhile, continues to demand that a wall be built where one is not needed.
I fully expect that some readers will post comments or send me messages that it is not about immigrants but rather about them following the laws. Both the employers and the employees are following the laws through the H-2B visas, which Trump uses for his own companies, but Trump also severely restricted the number of visas his agencies can issue, hurting businesses including those owned by Trump supporters.
In the end, the fact remains that immigrant labor is essential for America. I’m just waiting for the xenophobes to understand this reality.