The only thing worse than an ineffective law is an effective one. If you doubt that, have a look at Georgia, where farmers are being ruined by a dearth of workers resulting from a tough new anti-illegal immigration law.
A month ago Gov. Nathan Deal signed the law, which is modeled on Arizona’s controversial immigration statute. Now, a week before it goes into effect, crops are rotting in the fields due to a shortage of workers for at least 11,000 farm jobs. In response, the governor has suggested that farmers hire the 2,000 unemployed criminal probationers estimated to live in Georgia’s farm areas. Math would not seem to be the governor’s forte.
Georgia is proving the claim that Americans would never take these jobs, at least at these wages. The state’s unemployment rate is nearly 10 percent, and yet people aren’t lining up for $8-an-hour jobs that involve at least 40 hours a week of back-breaking labor and exposure to a fascinating array of dangerous chemicals. If all that wasn’t enough to dissuade people there’s always the benefits: Only 7.7 percent of the jobs offer health insurance, and barely a third are covered by workers compensation. Yeah, but it’s so fulfilling.
There’s more to come
Despite Georgia’s example, many other states are moving swiftly to prevent illegal immigrants who are determined to undermine society by taking jobs you literally can’t pay the documented to do. Oh, by the way, they are also making sure the U.S. continues to have some of the lowest food costs in the world. Stop them before they cause more harm!
One reason so many of Georgia estimated 425,000 illegal immigrants have decided to head elsewhere lies in the law’s really impressive legal innovations. These include making it a crime to knowingly transport or harbor undocumented immigrants or to encourage undocumented people to come to the state.
Which explains why federal judge Thomas Thrash questioned whether teenage U.S. citizens should be prosecuted for driving their illegal immigrant parents to the grocery store. Imagine the trouble they’ll be in if turns out they first asked their parents to come visit from out of state? Clearly these are criminal masterminds hard at work.
Judge Thrash is expected to rule on the law’s constitutionality in the coming week. If I were Gov. Deal and I wanted to be re-elected, I would be putting my very worst people on the case.