Roy Beck's Picture


  by  Roy Beck

Their vote to reward corrupt agribusinesses was two weeks ago. But we have only begun to shine the spotlight on the U.S. Representatives who voted YES on the H.R. 1603 amnesty for those corporate lawbreakers.

The map below shows Americans what parts of the country are represented by politicians who would so brazenly side with employers who insisted on enticing and exploiting an illegal-alien workforce even though the government offered them an unlimited legal guest-worker program.

The colored districts are the ones represented in Congress by officials (red for Republicans and blue for Democrats) who provided the 247-to-174 passage of the ag amnesty in the U.S. House on March 18. (Voters still have a chance to stop this amnesty in the Senate, which hasn't yet scheduled consideration of the bill.)

H.R. 1603 vote map


Those Representatives in the colored Districts voted to create a path to permanent work permits and citizenship for more than 1 million illegal aliens who have at least dabbled in farm work (one-quarter time) over the last two years.

The amnesty may be even better for the employers who illegally hired them. Instead of being prosecuted for repeatedly and for years breaking federal immigration laws by hiring the illegal aliens, the agricultural employers are promised rewards by the Representatives in those colored Congressional Districts on the map. Their bill would force the illegal aliens into a form of indentured servitude tied to law-breaking growers and other farm employers for several years before they could move on to compete with American workers in construction and service occupations.

Lest it sound like I am being too harsh in my criticism of the agricultural employers of illegal aliens, let's be clear about the choices they have made. Studies for decades have indicated that there are more legal workers (foreign-born and native-born) already in the United States who want farm jobs than there are farm jobs during peak seasons. If the government and ag employers put as much time into communication and coordination to efficiently utilize available labor as they have put into trying to pass amnesties the last two decades, there might be very little need for foreign labor -- especially if they offered the wages and working conditions that meet American standards.

But we can set aside that debate for another day. The fact is that Congress long ago removed any pressure on ag employers to raise their jobs to an American standard. Congress did that by offering every ag employer the opportunity to bring an unlimited number of foreign laborers to work their fields and orchards every season.

The only reason there are an estimated more than one million illegal aliens who could get the amnesty offered by elected Representatives from all those colored districts on the map is that their employers decided to engage in a systematic, organized criminal enterprise of hiring illegal aliens instead of bringing in foreign workers in a legal system in which they would go back home after each season. Why? They found it easier and cheaper to break the law than to operate as a lawful business enterprise.

And they were quite sure that elected officials would not insist they be prosecuted as the law required.

Most farm businesses do not participate in these criminal patterns. They are also victims of our government's complicity in enabling the lawbreakers. Agribusinesses that attempt to obey the law and treat their workers honorably are put at a competitive disadvantage with the criminal businesses protected by the federal government.

But the majority in Congress don't treat the ag lawbreakers like they do other forms of organized crime. Instead, they treat the growers' lobby with the utmost respect as it brags about how many times its members have broken immigration laws and as it uses the magnitude of illegal hiring as the very reason for more favors from Congress. For decades, the congressional leaders of both Parties have allowed the growers lobby to block most serious legislative efforts to stop the flow of illegal workers into all occupations.

Why would the U.S. Representatives for those red and blue Districts on the map vote to honor businesses who knowingly and promiscuously violate federal laws instead of using the great guest worker gift already provided it by Congress? Enquiring minds would like to know.

ROY BECK is Founder & President of NumbersUSA

Updated: Wed, Apr 14th 2021 @ 5:15pm EDT

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