Study Shows Wages Rose After Immigration Raids

So, do ya think we should stop the raids on businesses with ellegals working for them?

By Bridget Johnson Posted: 03/18/09 11:59 PM [ET] As the topic of immigration and workplace raids begins to heat up again in a new administration, a new study finds that wages and employment grew for legal workers after a series of 2006 raids.

The report, by Jerry Kammer of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), a think tank that advocates against amnesty for illegal immigrants but also against mass deportations of the same, looked at the aftermath of six immigration raids at Swift & Co. meat-packing plants in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Texas, Colorado and Utah. About 1,300 undocumented workers were arrested, and another 400 without authorization to work in the United States were detected around the same time through better company screening.

Several hundred of those arrested were charged with using fraudulent Social Security numbers.

The study estimates that about 23 percent of the plants' employees were not authorized to work in the U.S, taking into account that the raids only targeted the first shift of the day and that the CIS investigation revealed large numbers of workers did not show up for the later, post-raid shifts.

"There is good evidence that after the raids the number of native-born workers increased significantly," Kammer writes, noting that all of the plants were back to full production within five months. "But Swift would not provide information on how its workforce has changed. Swift also has recruited a large number of refugees who are legal immigrants.

"At the four facilities for which we were able to obtain information, wages and bonuses rose on average 8 percent with the departure of illegal immigrants."

Kammer says that Swift used pay increases and signing bonuses to staff the plants after the raids, but bringing up wages wouldn't necessarily correlate to a hike in consumer prices.

"Research by the USDA and others indicates that wages and benefits for production workers account for only 7 to 9 percent of retail meat prices," Kammer writes. "This means that if wages and benefits were increased by one-third, consumer prices would rise by 3 percent at most."

Kammer concludes "that these six Swift plants could operate without the presence of illegal workers," even when having to restaff during a period of low national unemployment up through early 2007.

The report comes a day after Fox News broadcast video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) speaking out against Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids at a pro-immigrant gathering in San Francisco on Saturday.

"Who in this country would not want to change a policy of kicking in doors in the middle of the night and sending a parent away from their families?" Pelosi says in the video. "It must be stopped. ... What value system is that? I think it's un-American."

Fox reported that Pelosi was invited by Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), who is conducting a "Family Unity" tour in 20 cities "signing petitions to the president and testifying to the loss and separation caused by our broken immigration system," according to Gutierrez's website.

Immigration raids were also on the agenda when President Obama met with all 24 members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) on Wednesday. In a press release afterward, the caucus said Obama "conveyed that he is aware of the impact the immigration raids are having on families, and assured the CHC that he is pursuing ways, including administrative first steps, to ensure the enforcement policies do not result in the separation of families."

"We believe that under his leadership we can finally provide some dignity to the thousands of families that are living in the shadows and in fear,” said caucus Chairwoman Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.).

Gutierrez, chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Immigration Task Force, said, "The president showed the CHC that, although it is very early in his administration, he understands that for the immigrant community it’s the eleventh hour, and there is no time to waste."

Obama also announced during the meeting that he will travel to Mexico next month to meet with President Felipe Calderon.

At a town-hall meeting in Costa Mesa, Calif., later on Wednesday, Obama stuck by his campaign-trail mantra of securing the nation's borders while putting illegal immigrants on a legalization path that would include paying fines, learning English and going "to the back of the line" behind those who take legal steps to enter the United States.

Grits4life Grits4life
46-50, F
2 Responses Mar 19, 2009

The country is set up EXACTLY how Ronald Reagan and republicans wanted it! <br />
To a T.<br />
<br />
Sending jobs oversees and paying the lowest wages possible in the U.S.<br />
<br />
Even **** Cheney's Haliburton recently moved to the MidEast. How's that for American!