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90% of state's dairy workers illegal

By Garth Kant

A shocking number of workers on Idaho dairy farms are not U.S. citizens, according to a U.S. congressman.

“Ninety percent of the dairy workers in Idaho are here illegally,” says U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho.

He says approximately 8,300 of those farm workers are in the country illegally.

Labrador adds, “There is no visa for them to be able to work here and nobody else will do those jobs.”

WND reported in 2005 on an analysis that indicated those types of jobs actually may be open because of low wages caused by illegal immigration. The report by investment firm Bear Stearns showed that between four and six million U.S. jobs had shifted from the legal work force to the underground since 1990, “as employers have systematically replaced American workers with lower wage illegal aliens.”

And, as Ann Coulter observed in WND in 2006, “Of course illegal immigrants will ‘work for less.’ They don’t have to pay taxes.”

Jim Gilchrist, the founder of the Minuteman Project, told WND when the recession hit in 2008 that America can no longer afford to operate under the assumption that only immigrants would be willing to do low-wage work. In hard times, many citizens will be looking for any job they can find.

And, Gilchrist insisted, if the country stops allowing corporate fat cats to get rich on illegal labor, but instead demands a living wage for unskilled work, Americans will recoup the extra money they pay for food and manufactured goods through the taxes they save no longer supporting government programs for non-tax-paying illegal immigrants.

Also in WND in 2008, Phyllis Schlafly cited a 70-page document called “The Economic and Fiscal Impact of Immigration” by Edwin S. Rubenstein, a Manhattan Institute adjunct fellow.

She wrote, “The bottom line, which you need to know for your own bottom line, is that U.S. taxpayers are giving more than $9,000 a year in cash or benefits to each immigrant, a third of whom are in the country illegally. That’s $36,000 for each immigrant household of four.”

Schlafly added, “Because the U.S. has 37 million immigrants, legal and illegal, the national cost was more than $346 billion last year, which was twice our fiscal deficit. The cost of immigrants is so high because, as Rubenstein writes, ‘Immigrants are poorer, pay less tax and are more likely to receive public benefits than natives.'”

Paul thinks the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. is a big problem, but not the real problem. He says the real problem is controlling the borders and ensuring business owners aren’t hiring illegal workers.

“We’ll just have a third wave of illegal immigrants coming across the border if we offer citizenship to those folks already here if we don’t tighten things up,” he says.

The Idaho Dairymen’s Association uses a slightly lower figure than Paul, estimating the number of illegal Idaho dairy workers at somewhere between 75 and 80 percent. That’s based on U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates and audits by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.