Colorado Farmers Hire Locals for Farm Labor, They Quit After Six Hours


Need MOAR farm workers

With unemployment in his state at 8.5 percent and visa requirements for seasonal workers becoming more frustrating, Colorado farmer John Harold decided to hire fewer migrant farm workers for his harvest this summer and supplement his smaller-than-usual team with locals.

How did it go? The New York Times reports:

Six hours was enough, between the 6 a.m. start time and noon lunch break, for the first wave of local workers to quit. Some simply never came back and gave no reason. Twenty-five of them said specifically, according to farm records, that the work was too hard. On the Harold farm, pickers walk the rows alongside a huge harvest vehicle called a mule train, plucking ears of corn and handing them up to workers on the mule who box them and lift the crates, each weighing 45 to 50 pounds.

Other farmers in the area that the Times talked to reported similar experiences. And it's not like the local workers they were hiring were a bunch of hipster weaklings. According to area farmers, most of the local hires were Hispanics who probably had a history of doing farm work while they were new immigrants until finding better work in construction or landscaping.

The H-2A seasonal foreign worker visa program administered by Citizenship and Immigration Services raised minimum wage by $2.50 per hour this year, to $10.50, which Harold said affected his hiring decisions. And the program has stiff requirements before farmers can even opt into it. Potential employers have to "demonstrate that there are not sufficient U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available to do the temporary work" and show that hiring temporary foreign workers won't adversely affect U.S. workers in similar positions. A Colorado State professor quoted by the Times said that "the only way to offer proof [that there aren't enough U.S. workers to do farm work] is to literally have a field left unharvested."

Or maybe having dozens of locals walk off the job will satisfy the feds.

Read about how other states recent immigration laws hurt farmers and migrant workers here, and see below on how federal immigration policy harms the agriculture industry in California's Central Valley:

NEXT: Did Those Automaker Bailouts Work?

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  1. Step one: Close border.

    Step two: Unionize farm workers.

    Step three: Raise wages and provide health care and other benefits to farm workers.

    Step four: Pay $20 for a bag of corn tortilla chips.

    Step five: Reopen border.

    1. oops – on a previous thread, libtoidz tried arguing that labor cost didnt effect retail cost. course these libtoids were trying to ‘splain away that GA & AL farmers couldnt find local labor after the state wingnutz passed the hatez-on-hispanics immigration laws…objectively speaking acourse

      1. thanks for bringing us your unique brand of stupid

      2. lol oops i like totally made all that up my bad guys lol


  2. Jerbzzzzzz

  3. So can we send these lazy losers back to Mexico and keep the Mexicans?

    There are a bunch of young adults on Wall Street. I’m sure you could get an hour or 2 of work out of each of them before they wandered off.

    1. “I’m sure you could get an hour or 2 of work out of each of them before they wandered off collapsed.

      1. “I’m sure you could get an hour minute or 2 of work out of each of them before they wandered off collapsed

        1. ^spoof, yet i agree…with me ?

      2. course you’d have to pay them for the entire year….

    2. That was my thought exactly, Drake. In addition to the protesters, NYC has over 1 million residents relying on food assistance out of a population of 8 million. Might it be more efficient to send these dependents to the farms and tell them to pick their own food?

      1. It worked for Pol Pot – and these people are probably big fans.

        1. I don’t advocating marching them out there at gun point. Providing a bus ride should be sufficient.

          1. It’d better be an environmentally friendly rapid transit rail system or we’re not going.

            1. They have those propane buses. And we should use eco friendly lead-free ammo as we herd them out to the countryside to dirt-farm or die.

            2. Know who else used rapid transit rail systems to send rabble rouses to work camps?


          2. It’d better be an environmentally friendly rapid transit rail system or we’re not going.

            1. Damn server squirrels, I only hit submit once! Once, I say!


  5. They took yur jerb and shoved it.

  6. We r in ur fields abandoning ur jerbs! LOL!

  7. Sounds like the Rapture. Or that town in Alabama, which sounded like the Rapture.

    1. how shall their property be split…for those of us left behind ?

  8. Those pendejos took my yob.

  9. Back in the 70s/early 80s, my brothers used to work at the “muck farm” (as they called it). They picked vegetables, being paid by the bushel. It was hard work, but they did it for a season or two. One became a pediatrician, while the other went onto a career in broadcasting.

    Of course in my family, we were pretty much required to work after age 15, or else you would be constantly nagged by dear old dad.

    1. I pitched papers. No, mom didn’t drive me around – ever – I had a bike. My brother worked on a farm baling hay and straw and stacking it in the barn. THAT job was a bitch – he did it for three years – good on ya!

      1. You had a bike. Rich bastard.

        Walking in a snowstorm at 4AM in pitch blackness with a hand crank flashlight and a bag full of newspapers as heavy as I was. Those were the days!

        1. You forgot uphill both ways.

    2. Started working in the local mom and pop grocery when I was 14. Parents told me if I wanted to have a car when I turned 17 I’d better get a job and start saving. So I did. Been working steadily ever since, including to put myself through college.

      1. Same here. Started at 14.5 (state law prevented younger) and I was bagging groceries at a regional chain store. Dad co-signed a car loan (for $1,500.00!) at 16.5 on which I never missed a payment. Work + loans through college and paid back every dime. There’s no substitute for learning to support yourself. That cannot be stressed enough.

    3. My old man made sure I had bust-ass hard summer jobs as a teenager.

      Farm work, one year. 72 hours a week, no overtime. Industrial construction maintenance crew, one year. That kind of thing. Given my general bookish absent-mindedness, there were several close calls with maimings, death, etc.

      He cheerfully admitted later on it was so I had a good idea what my future was if I didn’t get good grades.

    4. at 15, I started dish-washing at the local college. At 16, I was working as a “consultant” (poorly paid computer programmer) at a local insurance company.

      After that, it was warehouse and screen-printing work until I went to college.

    5. I stacked hay and built fence. I wasn’t driven by need as much as the desire to avoid shame. I am quite sure I have done days that are as hard as these people walked away from.

    6. I worked in peach orchards along side (mostly illegal) mexicans — they did the picking, I hauled away the full bins and brought back empties. I got minimum wage and they got piecemeal wages, and at the end of the day they earned more than I did.

      Piecemeal was great — they just ran up and down the ladders, because that meant more money. Plus there were two crews side-by-side, and the competition (and trash talking) was hilarious. The rare day when a field needed a final pass and thus had slim pickings, they would work for an hourly wage and move so slowly they were almost putting fruit back on the trees.

  10. so…immigrants (illegal, undocumented, whatever you call them) WILL do jobs that -naturalized? normalized? Americans won’t do. hmmm…

    I worked on a farm when I was a teen. Most of the time I was in the market taking money for corn. My favorite hours were spent in the fields, harvesting corn, tomatoes, etc. for the market stand. Every autumn, as business in the market slowed, we did maintenance work. I painted John Deer Green on tractor parts for weeks on end. Some weeks, I got to drive the thresher/hopper through the soybean fields.

    Hard work? absolutely. Yet, eminently preferable to some of the office-monkey gigs I’ve had. Def. preferable to the babysitting (i.e., teaching) I did most recently.

    I can’t put my finger on what’s happening here. Something about doing a days honest labor being vital to character? No, that’s not it…

    1. You people make me sick with your pathetic work ethics. When I was a teen, I had to work at a health food store, stocking shelves, ringing up customers, even re-supplying bulk items! I think a few times I had to mop the floor! And–this is the kicker–I had to eat vegan cake on people’s birthdays.

      Whom among you can compare to that? Whom, I ask?

      1. You sound like Darth Vader bitching out Luke for being a whiny, thin skinned, Meghan McCain level brat.

        Besides, health food stores smell. Awful.

        1. Not this one; I am nothing if not vigilant in keeping things clean. It was originally owned by this old couple who clued me in to what a scam it was (“granola is oats fried in the cheapest oil possible–these people think it’s healthy!”) who also sold meats and cheeses, but was then bought by a well-meaning vegan couple, who banished all the meats and cheeses from the store. And non-vegan birthday cake.

          Unsurprisingly, the store did much worse after the vegans took over.

          1. I don’t know if your claim of cleanliness is sound. Warty was bitching the other day about how filthy your spider eye is.

            Well, it’s along the same lines as when a ‘merkin, engorged with years of TexMex, finally eats some authentic fare in Mexico, and nearly falls over dead from the Moctezuma’s Revenge and swears he’ll never touch a taco, flauta, or frijole again.

          2. Pretty much everything is worse when vegans are involved.

        2. Does anyone know what exactly that smell is? It’s not a smell of uncleanliness, but rather an almost antiseptic smell unique to these awful stores. Just being reminded of it made me overwhelmed with hate.

          1. I think it’s all the crap they have in their bulk bins in addition to the “environmentally friendly” (absolutely worthless) cleaning products they use. It ranks right up there with the cedar chips / rodent piss spell of pet stores.

            1. Oh God. Now I have a phantom pet store smell in my brain. I did some extensive research, and I found that the health food store smell I am thinking of could very well be soap made my hippies.

      2. Having to eat vegan cake trumps all.

      3. I once worked 20 months at a place where the average employee total employment time was three weeks. No vegan cake, but an assistant manager did pull a gun at an office party and hold it to the head of a fellow employee while choking him.

        The worst part? The guy being choked was my ride home.

        1. Who did you work for, the Gambinos?

        2. “Fuck, if this lunatic pops this dude I’m going to have to call a cab?! At this time of night, and in this neighborhood?!!! Man, I’m fucked.”

        3. I must know what you did at this job. Please tell me you were a fluffer.

          1. If any of you know what a Shoe Carnival is, you are halfway there…

            Think of a shoe store the size of a Wal-Mart, with a 28-song loop of Doo-Wop music playing at ear-splitting volume while retarded coke-monkeys scream into microphones about deals and flirt with overweight underage girls as they come in. Now, add a series of store managers, driven mad by the place… like whip-skinny Kurtzs, sweating in an upstairs office, paranoid and weeping, shouting obscenities at us while we stocked shoes. Old women who were really only there for someone to finally touch them, even if only on their the feet. Constant shoplifting by occasionally armed thugs, running out of the store in brand-new sneakers, your duty to follow. The security being run by a short moonlighting cop who pressures people into lying in court and waits for a fellow employee to commit some petty crime.

            And, of course, the ex-drill instructor PTSD assistant manager, drunk all day and always armed. He liked me most of all. I was forced to pick him up for work or drive him home, based on my shift, so he would talk to me while I drove, long rambling narratives about how he wished he had me in basic so he could make a real man out of me. He had a stack of DUIs and a restraining order from his wife. He’d talk about murdering her over lunch, exactly how he’d do it and get rid of the body and oh, how they’d never ever catch him. And if anyone was on to him, he’d just kill them too.

            20 months.

            1. That needs to be a book. And while I don’t have a story like that, I think working a horrible job as a teenager is essential to understanding human nature and life. The fact that kids don’t do that as much anymore partially explains why so many of them are so stupid.

            2. Now that’s a job.

              If you were the right level of stoned it was probably like being in a Cohen Brothers movie.

            3. I’ve had some shitty jobs, but that takes the prize.

            4. You, sir, are the king.

            5. really SF… the novel…when?

            6. really SF… the novel…when?

        4. an assistant manager did pull a gun at an office party and hold it to the head of a fellow employee while choking him

          That is so full of win! Why doesn’t shit like this ever happen at MY workplace?

          I know, I know – “be the change you want to see in the world…”

          1. “be the change you want to see in the world…”

            Seems that would REQUIRE pulling a gun on fellow employees.

            1. I’m pretty sure that was his point.

        5. You have to tell us what this work was. Did you take bets? Loan money? Highjack freight trucks?

    2. I certainly can’t top SugarFree’s story.

      However, the following were un-fun:

      –working in my long-hair metalhead days in a glass factory for minimum wage, being regaled with stories about guys getting scalped when their hair got caught in the sanding machine. Needless to say, I was rigorous in maintaining a ponytail after that. Cut the hell out of my fingers, though.

      –working the night shift in the die-cast factory with a cast of characters including a guy on work-release for assault. Who apparently hadn’t entirely learned the error of his ways, based on his lunch-hour treatment of certain co-workers (not me).

      –working at the plastic widget factory, where my job was to inspect bins of thousands of brightly colored widgets for minor discoloration spots. For eight hours a day. That one nearly broke me.

      I learned a lot about work (as well as some practical mechanical skills) at most of these jobs. I also got to meet some interesting people.

      1. I can’t top some of the stories here. I only have

        -Working in the bearing warehouse. It was about 90 degrees and 90% humidity in there, and the job was to climb up a ladder and bring down a heavy, dusty cardboard box full of greasy bearings; now and then the box would split open and rained bearings on your head. Repeat for eight hours.

        -Working at the financial services company. While this sounds fairly cushy, in practice it meant wearing a tie in order to sit in a stuffy, windowless room for eight hours straight comparing endless, contextless strings of numbers on a green-screen terminal with strings of numbers in a printed binder. Every now and then you found a number was wrong and you had to correct it on the terminal. That’s it. Just that, for eight hours… By the end of the day I was ready to weep from sheer frustration and boredom. Overall, I preferred working in the bearing warehouse.

  11. These are the “hard-working” Americans “left behind” by free market pilicies, right?

  12. Epi, in another life I think you and I would have made babies. City Gardens, Jersey, pizza-snobbery…we’re a match in made in some non-existent libertopia

    1. Have you ever eaten vegan cake? You need to have experienced…the horror

      Seitan is pretty good when prepared well, though.

      1. Yes. I’ve even made vegan cake. In fact, I have a vegan chocolate cake recipe that might make you fall over with pleasure.

        Seitan sucks monkey dick.

        1. What do you use for the sweetener? That tends to be the key. Unbleached flour can be overcome by enough cocoa.

          Seitan is just a tasteless protein, which makes it a lot like chicken. Treat it the same, and it’s fine.

          1. Sucanat and regular sugar. Unfortunately it also contains tofu.

            I much prefer the chocolate truffle cake I make, with no flour and less sugar, but with butter, six eggs and 10 oz. of chocolate (between the melted 80% Ghirardelli and Dutch processed cocoa powder). Sometime, I add a few tablespoons of amaretto or nocello to mark a special occasion.

            It is teh yum

      2. Actually most vegan pastries that I’ve had were awesome. I don’t know how they get them so moist and delicious, but they are.

        1. I don’t know how they get them so moist and delicious,

          And you probably don’t want to know.

      3. vegan cupcakes are tiny versions of hell on earth.

    2. Hi Madbiker! LTNS! Are you currently de-compiling and properly elucidating young skulls full mush, as per your professional training?

      1. No. I am engaging in the rebellious practice of homeschooling my oldest, breastfeeding my youngest, and preparing to conceive a third. The world needs kids properly indoctrinated by me – with a healthy skepticism of god and state (one and the same, imho).

        1. If you need any help with that conceiving thing, let me know.

        2. It is true a child conceived from hatesex is 30 times more likely to be attractive?

          1. Leighton Meester is proof of that.

          2. Only if Madbiker is on top. And if she wants a boy, the piledriver is the way to go; the down side is she has to remain on her head for fours hours following conception.

            1. My husband and I have had many a good laugh about ways to conceive a boy – we’ve got two girls and would like us a masculine child.

              We’ve also considered maybe we shouldn’t allow February boredom to contribute to our progenitive practices. Sober in September is probably better than drunk in February if you want to control conception…

  13. So in a sense, John McCain was right, Americans won’t do this kind of work…

  14. I learned something today.

    Feigning starting and walking off a job so the employer can lawfully replace you with an imported slave is a job Americans will do.

    Especially Mexican ones.

    1. This exact same thing happened in GA only the workers walking off weren’t Mexican, they were good ol’ American parolees on probation.

      Now, what were you saying?

      1. that the average American won’t survive the coming Collapse, it’s their culling

  15. Delta Smelt? I thought it was smeltit deltit?

  16. They just were not desperate enough. If we didn’t have welfare I bet they wouldn’t quit after six hours.

    What is Reason’s position here? That Mexicans are some kind of sub human pack mules?

    1. I think this is it. If they had to work or starve, they wouldn’t be walking off because the work was ‘too hard’.

  17. Anyone who uses the term “lazy Mexican” has never worked with one.

    1. (The Hispanics who walked off the job were not Mexicans. They may have been Mexicans once, but now they’re just lazy Americans.)

      1. So, they’ve assimilated….

        1. So the proper insult is “Lazy Mexican-Americans”.

    2. There’s no place for me to sit anymore/
      And the lines just keep getting crazier
      There are Mexicans all around me/
      The lazy river has never been lazier

      It’s a 40 minute wait to go down one slide/
      And the instructions are in Spanish on the Zip Line ride (just do it in English!)

      There are too many minorities (too many)/
      At my water park (somebody do something)
      Where did they all come from/
      Why can’t they leave this land alone

    3. Agreed. They know the value of labor better than most.

    4. “Anyone who uses the term “lazy Mexican” has never worked with one.”


      Lived in the Chicago area for many years, and every Mexican I saw was busting ass washing cars, doing landscaping, bussing name it.

      Now, my second wife is of Mexican descent and everyone in her family works hard. Her brother has his own trucking company.

      Lazy Mexican…it pisses me off.

      1. With all due respect, Americans see the best Mexico has to offer, the ones willing to right deserts, cartels and La Migra to get here, I have no clue about the work ethic of those who remain behind, but I’m not surprised if it’s anything like their Euro counterparts

  18. Fuck these pansy assholes in Colorado -I find it unfortunate that I won’t get the satisfaction of watching them starve to death through their own laziness, since undoubtedly the good CO taxpayers will take care of their worthless carcasses. More’s the pity…

    1. Careful what you wish for.

  19. My great grandparents came to America to start a farm. They had to clear the land, plant the crops, weed the fields, water the crops, and _then_ they got to harvest the crops. They would be amazed to learn that today, the average American thinks it isn’t worth the effort to just harvest corn that is already planted and grown.

  20. Sounds like the farmer needs to raise wages until he get people to work for him. You know free market stuff.

    Or he could mechanize his work more to reduce the physical labor, you know like all other industries have done. Don’t see many people picking cottong by hand anymore.

    1. + 1

      I’ve read a few articles this year that say farmer’s incomes are up. Raising wages for field hands is a logical thing to do.

      1. I just checked Craigslist for the going labor rates. A farm hand can get $21 per hour in Northern New Jersey, while writers get $8 to $13 per hour.

        1. It does not exactly say what this farmer was paying but it does say that paying $10.50 an hour for H2a was too much so he went with local workers so I really doubt if he was paying $21 an hour.

        2. Meanwhile a RN with a BSN earns $24 per hour.

    2. A farmer?? If there’s any class of people in the US too lazy to deal with the market, it’s “farmers”. They want subsidies for everything.

      Farmers are like bankers, though. Washington is too scared to let a few big ones go bankrupt. A few small ones, OK.

      Google John Harold of Colorado and see his political contributions to the Democratic Party. No wonder the NYT found him.

      1. Good find –I did Google John Harold and he’s on record of giving money to Democrats since 1992 (

        He’s a corn grower, I’ll bet he’s gotten plenty of taxpayer subsidies. Subsidies which, in combination with NAFTA, have greatly reduced agricultural employment in Mexico, resulting in internal migration from the Mexican rural areas to urban areas…and to the United States.


        1. Also when did corn or onion harvesting require lots of manual workers? When I was a teenager living next to some farms they did almost all that harvesting using machinery. For example the machinery dug up the onions, separated the dirt and rocks and dumped it into a truck. Why is the photos showing guys stooped over in a field with a bucket picking onions. Seem like something out of the 19th century

          They did use some more people for sorting but not that many.

          I got some temp work from them but not for corn or onion harvesting since they did not need many people


            1. No, you don’t have to even have to raise the bar up to robots, they have had harvesters for corn and onions for decades. No stoop laborers with buckets needed



              Why are some who call themselves libertarians so backwards and primitive?


    3. “Sounds like the farmer needs to raise wages until he get people to work for him. You know free market stuff.”

      So much for the free market in labor, right DJF?


    1. Did you bother to read the story. The farmer can’t get temp Mexican workers for less then $10.50 an hour and Mexicans who have full time residency in the USA won’t even do the work for that amount. So its either pay more or mechanize more or more likely a bit of both.

      1. DERP

        pay more or mechanize more or more likely a bit of both


  22. It sounds like this little hiring experiment was designed to fail, so the farmer could bring in the Mexican workers he preferred.

    From the NYT article: “Mr. Harold and other H-2A farmers said that most of the local residents who tried field work this summer, for example, were Hispanic, many of whom, they said, had probably immigrated in years past for agricultural work before taking better-paid jobs in construction or landscaping. ” So the “answer” is to bring in an unending stream of Mexicans?

    The real answer is for the agriculture industry to improve wages and working conditions, rationalize and mechanize production, and work harder at recruitment. So the majority of the first day hires didn’t work out, keep hiring.

    Costs and prices may go up, that’s the market. If labor-intensive farming can’t compete then perhaps the product should be imported and the land used in a way that would be competitive.

    The “cheap” unskilled Mexican immigrants have been very costly to taxpayers to support their benefits and their children, by crime victims, by health consumers since these immigrants don’t pay for hospital care, and by communities that have their demographics and culture changed.

    The costs imposed on other citizens is an effective subsidy to these farmers “cheap” labor.

    1. Costs and prices may go up, that’s the market.

      That’s the market with artificial restrictions on the migration of labor.

      The “cheap” unskilled Mexican immigrants have been very costly to taxpayers to support their benefits and their children, by crime victims, by health consumers since these immigrants don’t pay for hospital care, and by communities that have their demographics and culture changed.

      Citation needed.

      1. But the new report that Mexicans who recently have moved to the US are the ones who walked away from the job. So if you remove the restrictions on migration, you end up with a bunch of immigrants who still won’t do the job for the money paid.

        Also legal temp migrants were demanding $10.50 an hour which the farmer considered to be too high.

        It appears the only ones who will work the job for the pay the farmer is willing to pay is illegals who are so desperate they will work for low wages and who the farmer can keep in line because they are illegal. Once they are here legally they demand more money and better working conditions

        As to your citation about costs, go visit the emergency rooms of places with lots of illegal aliens

        1. So if you remove the restrictions on migration, you end up with a bunch of immigrants who still won’t do the job for the money paid.

          If you remove the restrictions on immigration, you end up with a much of migrants who go back and forth, coming to the US only when it pays to do so but otherwise living in Mexico where it is cheaper to keep a family. You know, like for the century-plus before migration control on the southern border got stupid.

          As to your citation about costs, go visit the emergency rooms of places with lots of illegal aliens

          All uncompensated health care — all of it — amounts to $40 billion per year. The portion used by illegal immigrants is a fraction of that. All well below the benefits to the economy and giant leaps below the benefits to the migrants themselves of being able to work where their labor has greater leverage.

          1. “”””If you remove the restrictions on immigration, you end up with a much of migrants who go back and forth, coming to the US only when it pays to do so but otherwise living in Mexico where it is cheaper to keep a family.””

            But the farmer was already complaining that he had to pay $10.50 an hour for those workers who came temporarily from Mexico and it was too much. Of course looking at his farming technology, its no wonder he can’t get workers, he is harvesting onions using guys bending over and loading them in hand held buckets. It looks like something you would see in some 19th century picture

            Also the cost of living in Mexico is not that low, its just that they live poorly. Often no running water, no electricity, etc. That is why so many move to the USA and why they don’t want to go back to Mexico where living conditions are so bad for the poor

            1. But the farmer was already complaining that he had to pay $10.50 an hour for those workers who came temporarily from Mexico and it was too much.

              It’s too much considering the ridiculous hoops that the H-2A makes employers go through and the onerous restrictions it puts on laborers. Shocking.

              That is why so many move to the USA and why they don’t want to go back to Mexico where living conditions are so bad for the poor

              What, they had water and electricity for the 14 decades before the US started seriously enforcing the border and then lost them? Something changed significantly recently that made migrants more likely to be immigrants. That something was their ability to freely migrate back and forth.

              1. ROBOTS!!!!!!

              2. “”””It’s too much considering the ridiculous hoops that the H-2A makes employers go through and the onerous restrictions it puts on laborers. Shocking.”””
                What onerous restrictions does it put on laborers, $10.50 an hour that the farmer does not want to pay. Remember the article does not say he could not get the workers, he just did not want to pay them. Also please describe the “ridiculous hoops” he had to go through, putting a few ads in the paper does not count

                As to your fantasy history you are just making it up. There was no large scale migrant worker supply from Mexico to Colorado 14, 10 or 5 decades ago. Businesses had to pay local wage rates.

                1. not only are the wages set by DoL the cost of the application, lodging and meals and travel to the work site need to be paid by the employer, easily another dollar or two per employee and god forbid you miscalculate you owe the employee double what should have been paid.

          2. If you remove the restrictions on immigration, you end up with a much of migrants who go back and forth, coming to the US only when it pays to do so but otherwise living in Mexico where it is cheaper to keep a family.

            Ding ding ding. We have a winner. The US gets cheap labor when it needs it, and the overhead of having a bunch of poor Mexican families around stays in Mexico.

          3. “‘As to your citation about costs, go visit the emergency rooms of places with lots of illegal aliens’

            “All uncompensated health care — all of it — amounts to $40 billion per year. The portion used by illegal immigrants is a fraction of that. ”

            The estimates I’ve seen approximate $60 billion of uncompensated health care. The illegals probably constitute a large fraction of that.

            And much of the cost of immigrant health care is “compensated” by Medicaid, when an illegal drops her “anchor baby” that child is signed up for many benefits including healthcare. And those American citizen children of illegals are likely to grow up dependent on public services and welfare, or if male engage in crime, and impose many costs on the public.

            Legal immigrants also qualify for Medicaid. The last time I was in the waiting room for the X-ray clinic in the Lewiston Maine hospital, it was filled with Somalis–all legal, all almost certainly on Medicare.

      2. Here is one citation:…..usion.html

        Many of the costs are hard to count, what is the cost of seeing your neighborhood being turned in a foreign land, or being “ethnically cleansed” from it?…..72623.html

        “LOS ANGELES ? A Latino gang conspired to rid a Southern California city of its black residents through intimidation, threats and violence dating back to the early 1990s ….”

        1. Here is one citation…

          Based on research by the National Academy of Sciences, the lifetime net fiscal drain (taxes paid minus services used) on public coffers created by the average adult Mexican immigrant is estimated to be more than $55,000.

          Wonderful. Arguments based on “net fiscal drain”. As if 80% of the people in the country aren’t net fiscal drains considering who really pays the taxes.

          When economists — as opposed to the CIS — go at the question, they find that illegal immigration is a small but positive net benefit to the economy, all things considered.

          1. MikeP
            re your comment upthread about how uncompensated heath care is only $40 billion, estimates I’ve seen approximate $60 billion, which immigrants are probably a large fraction. I had a comment with a non-commercial link supporting that to your post which was rejected as “spam”

            In addition many immigrants, including the American born children of illegals, will be covered by Medicaid, so American citizens will be still on the hook even though the care is “compensated.”

            Re “net fiscal drain”…that is just the estimated fiscal impact which I believe is greatly understated…there are many other costs to native born Americans.

            As to the “economists”…some are pro-mass immigration ideologues…and the studies have pro-immigration assumptions and neglect real-world immigration costs (including crime and cultural disintegration)… but all the putative benefits are from highly educated immigrants, all the analysis I’ve seen conclude that low skilled uneducated immigrates are net costs to the economy.

            And the economists include as a “net benefit” the gain that immigrants *themselves* receive from moving from a low wage to a high wage economy. In fact most of the gain of immigration is captured by the immigrants themselves, the rest by their employers.

            The losers are workers whose wages are depressed (or lost) in competition with the immigrants (legal or illegal), and taxpayers.

            In fact the importation of Mexican farm workers is the primary cause of the low pay and poor working conditions of farm workers, these are the factors that make this work unattractive to “authorized” workers, including Hispanic former agricultural workers.

            And the analyses by the pro-immigration economists that I’ve seen don’t count higher health care charges, crime costs, and intangible but real deterioration in quality of life by people who live in communities affected by massive 3rd world immigration.

            1. I was wondering if you could define ‘cultural disintegration’?

              1. I don’t know if I can give an exact definition…at 5:01 I gave an example of hispanics “ethnically cleansing” blacks…and I’ve seen a number of So Cal stories of hispanaic gang attacks on whites. Hispanic gangs have taken over the streets in cities all over the country, with little resistance from police agencies.

                Another example: Mexifornia: A State of Becoming…..4732/vdare

                In New England police routinely do not arrest illegals for minor crimes, including driving without a licence, even identity theft. Courts refuse to deal with illegals who don’t show up, give false IDs, and PC officials won’t call DHS, when they do, immigration does won’t take them. Citizens would be arrested, heavily fined, even jailed.

                And another: http://economistsview.typepad……and_t.html

                “Diversity and Trust

                Bad news about our tolerance for diversity:

                Harvard study paints bleak picture of ethnic diversity, by John Lloyd, Financial Times: A bleak picture of the corrosive effects of ethnic diversity has been revealed in research by Harvard University’s Robert Putnam, one of the world’s most influential political scientists.

                His research shows that the more diverse a community is, the less likely its inhabitants are to trust anyone ? from their next-door neighbour to the mayor.

                This is a contentious finding in the current climate of concern about the benefits of immigration. Professor Putnam … delayed publishing his research until he could develop proposals to compensate for the negative effects of diversity, saying it “would have been irresponsible to publish without that”.

                The core message of the research was that, “in the presence of diversity, we hunker down”, he said. “We act like turtles. The effect of diversity is worse than had been imagined. And it’s not just that we don’t trust people who are not like us. In diverse communities, we don’t trust people who do look like us.” …”

            2. but all the putative benefits are from highly educated immigrants, all the analysis I’ve seen conclude that low skilled uneducated immigrates are net costs to the economy.

              The analyses show that low skilled uneducated immigrants are net costs to their direct competitors — low skilled uneducated natives and, more importantly, less recent low skilled uneducated immigrants. They just differ by how much.

              The leading pro-immigration analysis is probably by Peri and Ottaviano, who find a less than 1% hit on native low skilled wages. The go-to economist for the anti-immigration argument is Borjas, who finds a 5% hit to the wages of native low skilled workers. But both of them find a small net positive to the economy as a whole.

              And the economists include as a “net benefit” the gain that immigrants *themselves* receive from moving from a low wage to a high wage economy.

              Studies such as those by Peri, Borjas, and Card absolutely do not. When analyses do, as Pritchett and more recently Clemens have argued, the benefits to the immigrants and to the world economy as a whole are so mind-boggling as to be inconceivable. They find that the most minor opening of borders offers more economic gain than ending all trade restrictions in the entire world.

              1. When economists talk about gains to “the economy” from immigration, the reference is GDP or national income which includes the immigrants wages.

                See The Wall Street Journal JUNE 26, 2006 “Immigration’s Costs — And Benefits”

                “Philip Martin writes: Gordon is right: Immigration, whether legal or illegal, adds workers, most of whom get jobs, which makes the U.S. economy larger. If there are economies of scale, as when producing more lowers the cost of production, the prices of some goods fall, benefiting those who buy those goods at home and abroad.

                Most of the benefits of immigration go to the immigrants who earn higher wages in the U.S. than they would at home. In the standard triangle analysis, there are no net economic benefits to the U.S. economy (the triangle in the Hanson and Borjas papers above, as well as in my book “Promise Unfulfilled: Unions, Immigration, and Farm Workers”) if wages do not fall with the addition of immigrant workers.

                It has been very hard to agree on how much wages declined because of immigration, but the 3% estimate of Borjas is reasonable.

                With migrants getting most of the gain from immigration in their wages, and owners of capital and land getting most of the rest in higher profits and rents, the surplus triangle is 1/10 of 1% of GDP. Pro-immigration people stress that immigration is positive, a net economic benefit, and in a $13 trillion economy, 1% is $13 billion. Anti-immigrant people stress that immigration adds $13 billion, or about two weeks’ growth in an economy growing 2.5% a year.

                Economists agree that the immigration generates a small net economic benefit for the U.S. and in doing so redistributes income from workers to owners of capital and land. Perhaps this is why immigration is such a political hot potato; it’s mostly a distribution issue and, for governments that are in the business of redistributing income via taxes and subsidies, regulating immigration is another redistribution tool.”

                I’ve just read Peri and Ottaviano’s 2006 paper, and as I generalized above the numerous costs immigrants impose on native populations are neglected. A 2010 FAIR study estimated fiscal costs for state, local, and the Federal government at $113 billion. “The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigration on
                United States Taxpayers,” at (

                Peri and Ottaviano actually argue that there is an *increase* in native wages from mass immigration. This conclusion is touted by many pro-immigration news purveyors and organizations. It is also highly implausible and contradicts the basic economic principals of supply and demand. Borjas, link below, comments on this.

                See also A Capital Mistake? The Neglected Effect of
                Immigration on Average Wages
                Declan Trott
                (Research School of Economics
                College of Business and Economics
                Australian National University
                JEL codes: F22, J31, J61
                Working Paper No: 544
                ISBN: 0 86831 544 3
                May 2011) who looks at the mathematical model used by Peri and Ottaviano and concludes: ”
                The effect of immigration on native wages depends crucially on the behaviour of the
                capital stock. Modelling immigration as a one off shock, as is done in the literature,
                minimizes its effects by implying that the average wage is unchanged in the long run.
                Treating immigration more realistically, as a continuous flow, reveals that it changes the
                rate of growth of the labour force, which affects the capital stock per worker and thus the
                average wage, even in the long run. A simple calculation of this effect in a Solow?Swan
                model implies that pre-crisis sized US immigration flows would reduce the steady state
                average wage by around 5%.”

                A 2005 study by Donald R. Davis and David E. Weinstein ( “Magnitude of the Losses. A first calculation of the economic costs of the inflow of factors (immigration and capital flows taken together) for U.S. natives is very simple in this framework. We need to calculate how this changes the relative supplies of the United States (expanding) and the rest of the world (contracting) goods in the world and then to see how these changes in relative supplies translate into deterioration in the U.S. terms of trade. In this first approach, the calculation of the impact on outputs is very simple given that both labor and capital in the United States expanded by around 15 percent. For the impact on the terms of trade, we rely on a study by Acemoglu and Ventura (2002), which studies precisely this question of how a rise in output (for whatever reason) translates into deterioration in terms of trade. Our calculations show these costs of factor inflows were $136 billion in 2002, or approximately 1.3 percent of GDP. This is very large in absolute terms and huge compared to the previous calculations of what were thought to be gains from immigration. ”

                See also “George Borjas On The Media’s Immigration Economics: “People Now Are Getting That It’s Complete Nonsense”…..-complete-

                1. When economists talk about gains to “the economy” from immigration, the reference is GDP or national income which includes the immigrants wages.

                  Some may. But the studies I cited look at what I consider the frankly more interesting question: what is the effect on per capita GDP of those already here.

                  And it’s interesting because GDP per capita could fall for the nation as a whole while it increases for both the immigrant and resident cohorts.

                  And the GDP per capita effect includes cost of services, as does the average wage effect since taxes are pulled from that wage. However, it doesn’t answer the observation that the near-zero returns to per capita GDP or average wage may be split between increased returns to high skilled natives and decreased wages for low skilled natives.

                  I hadn’t seen that Brimelow-Borjas interview. I did note this in the second part:

                  Brimelow: Why are we arguing about wages anyway? It’s a very narrow way of looking at immigration. The real issue is: what’s immigrant surplus? How much better-off are the native-born?

                  Borjas: I agree. And then compare that with the cost of services if you really want to do a cost-benefit analysis.

                  But suppose that number is zero, which I think is pretty close to being true. Then you still might want to care about the wage impact because of the distributional effect. It’s making the rich richer and the poor poorer.

                  Brimelow: If the total impact of immigration is a wash, then there is no economic rationale for immigration. What’s America’s need for immigration?

                  Borjas: No economic rationale in the context of this model. You can see a slight loss if you look at the transfer payments.

                  When I am pinned to the wall, I concede that the economic effect of immigration as a total for those already here is basically a wash. Brimelow and Borjas in their discussion come to the same conclusion. Interestingly, they find that a lack of a gain to the existing US economy is an argument against free migration, while I find that the lack of a loss to the existing US economy is an argument for free migration.

                  If there is no economic reason to deny both the individual rights of migration and labor to immigrants and the truly massive economic gains to the immigrants themselves due to free migration, then denying those gives a far too great moral weight to one class of people over another simply because they happened to be born on one side of a line on a map.

    2. It also seem that there was little or no preparation of the workers. Throw people into a full day of physical labor at low wages with no preparation and in any industry you will have a lot of people walking away.

      However the reporting in this story is poor as are most reports, no details on the exact work, the amount of money paid, how long the work was going to last, etc etc so its hard to tell what is actually happening


  23. I can empathize. I’ve unloaded for UPS, ran a warehouse where goods were constantly shipped and I had to be on the dock working like anyone else, and worked in an un-air conditioned factory where the August temperature climbed to 105; very physical manual labor, but I would never work on a farm. Hate fucking farms. Smell, bio-matter contact, great out doors, everything about farms blows.

  24. OK, we did the experiment. Now can we go back to something that actually works?

  25. OK, we did the experiment. Now can we go back to something that actually works?

  26. American’s don’t like working for low wages in bad conditions, who could have known?

    Don’t be cheap people, pay for what you get.

    using Fair (Federation for Immigration Reform) figures

    You could pay for Americans to do the work if you made conditions better and paid enough.

    It would cost you about $300 a year roughly without automation for it to be a decent, safe job.

    FIGURES HERE…..fagworkers

    1. I’m way too tolerant to read this “…fagworkers” hate site of yours. And it’s “hag”, not “pag”.

      1. Congratulating yourself on your tolerance while refusing to be open minded and learn something is not all that great.

        Also the use of a leftist nonsense term like “hate site” whatever that is , is rather contrary to the ideals of this magazine and its very name “Reason”

        If you want to say the Libertarian ideals are mainly moral ones, so be it. Just understand that it puts you in the same boat with a lot of illiberal people.

    2. FAIR has a more recent and highly relevant study, at…..ocID=5541, “Illegal Immigration and Agribusiness
      The Effect on the Agriculture Industry of Converting to a Legal Workforce”–bottom line small farms would be little effected by immigration enforcement, big agribusiness would still be profitable but could experience a 12% reduction in net income with a 6 to 10% increase in wages.

      I’m going to guess that the “too tolerant” “cynical” is a troll, 3/10…obvious but you got a bite.

  27. This is really wierd – I live in Grand Junction, and I distinctly remember reading an article about this in the Daily Sentinal … The thing I remember most about the article was the farmer saying only one in five or six of his new hires worked out.

    I remember this so distinctly because I thought to myself, “This guy doesn’t know how lucky he is!” I use to hire for my departments in a wheel chroming manufacturing plant, and I typically had to go through ten to twenty applicants to find one guy who could do the work AND show up every day.

    I’d interview five to eight guys, hire one on a probationary term, he wouldn’t work out, interview again, etc etc.

    A third of our employees in our departments were from work release – I could usually depend on 50% of those guys to be good hard workers.

    But that article barely resembled this one in the NYT’s .. And I can’t seem to find the original one at the Sentinal..

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