To follow up on all those poultry packing houses that were raided by ICE and their illegal workers rounded up…
There was a story on NPR today about this. It seems these hard, low-paying and often dangerous jobs were often held by blacks in the the Deep South. However, a few years ago, when black workers were starting to unionize and fight for better pay and conditions in this industry, the meat packers started actively hiring in S Florida were there were large numbers of Spanish illegals desperate for work. In places like Mississippi, where these people were isolated from their communities and in hostile, rural environments far from their family and community support systems, (and the Law), they provided a docile and easily intimidated work force, ripe for exploitation.
This pattern is not new. The sugar cane (heavily subsidized by the US government), truck farming, and citrus industries in S Florida relied heavily on the local poor (both white and black) to work in the fields, but soon switched over to Central American and Haitian workers, many illegal, because they too “would work cheap and not cause trouble”. In some areas, like the farming district around Lake Okeechobee, actual chattel slavery was going on, and those in hock to the company store and who owed on salary advances were kept from leaving the farms by armed guards patrolling with vicious dogs.
This isn’t about illegals and people not obeying the law. This is about new and novel forms of enforced labor being pioneered by American Capitalism, now aided and abetted by GOP immigration policy. In the past, government monitoring and enforcement kept these injustices under some form of control, now they are being implemented on a vast scale with an almost limitless supply of foreign illegal labor. Previous efforts by the Bush administration and gang-of-eight type bipartisan legislators to rationalize US immigration law and work out compromises fair to business and labor were quickly
squelched by Conservatives because of their alleged “amnesty” components. For the labor to be really cheap, the laborers HAVE to be illegal. That’s the whole point.
“Americans won’t do that kind of work any more”. Yeah, right.