Feb 272007
Authors: Editorial Board

Visceral, racist rage is a powerful tool in a politician’s arsenal – just ask a few of our own Colorado representatives. But it comes with a major drawback: It’s nearsighted.

After a crackdown on illegal immigrants, Coloradan farmers have found themselves short-handed – even after offering as much as $9.60 an hour for labor, which is much more than they had paid undocumented workers.

That’s right – the immigration crackdown has hurt the very same corn-fed, red-white-and-blue-bleeding American farmers whom Representatives like Marilyn Musgrave and Tom Tancredo claim to represent throughout their campaigns.

Tancredo, a Republican U.S. congressman right here in Colorado, is leading the charge to purge this country of illegal immigrants. He’s drawn plenty of support with the topic – national infamy, even, when he compared Miami to a third-world nation. Musgrave, similarly, is hesitant to touch a bill that doesn’t include a “kick-out-all-the-Mexican-illegals” clause.

Tancredo has argued that illegal immigrants take hard-earned American jobs, and that they make the country unsafe.

In Pueblo, farmers offered $9.60 an hour for the jobs that had been taken by illegal immigrants. Minimum wage is $6.85.

And they have not been able to find anyone willing to do the work. As for safety?

A likely solution will be to bring in prison inmates to take the field hand jobs, instead. The farmers will pay the state at least minimum wage. And for all of the hard labor, inmates will be rewarded with pennies a day.

Now what could go wrong here?

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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