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Map1 - Teen Pregnancy
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Map 23 - Divorce
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Figure 2 - Unemployment vs Right to work
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Monday, March 05, 2007

Immigration insanity
The NYT this weekend describes why those durn imgrants taking our jurrrbs again probably aren't causing economic harm. Without them, farmers need to find prisoners to do the labor. Maybe that's a sign they really aren't taking our jurrrbs?

What's really pathetic is that Dana Rohrabacher (the stupidest man in congress) originally proposed this as a solution to the immigration non-problem. This solution doesn't sound too promising though.

Under the program, which has drawn criticism from groups concerned about immigrants' rights and from others seeking changes in the criminal justice system, farmers will pay a fee to the state, and the inmates, who volunteer for the work, will be paid about 60 cents a day, corrections officials said.

...

With the start of the farming season looming, Colorado's farmers are scrambling to figure out which crops to sow and in what quantity. Some are considering turning to field corn, which is mechanically harvested. And they are considering whether they want to pay for an urban inmate who could not single out a ripe watermelon or discern between a weed and an onion plant.

"This is not a cure-all," Mr. Pisciotta said. "What our farm laborers do is a skill. They're born with it, and they’re good at it. It's not an easy job."


So, the prisoners don't have the skills, there aren't enough of them, and represent a public safety threat and logistical nightmare to transport. Further, it seems clear that Americans aren't interested in doing this labor (consistent with the data we discussed last week). So what benefit has there been to this immigration crackdown? It's hurting farmers, it's hurting agriculture, U.S. Citizens don't want these jobs, and we've had to resort to importing prison labor.

Once again the real economic harm doesn't come from immigrants, it comes from electing demagogue Republicans.

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