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Ag-Jobs Resurrected (Again) by Feinstein and Attached to War Funding Bill
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++Addition++The full Senate is going to begin ‘working’ on the bill tomorrow (Tuesday). There is still time to share your thoughts on the amendment with your Senators. Contact them here.

The Senate Appropriations committee has approved a free-riding Feinstein Ag-Jobs amendment to an upcoming Iraq spending bill. According to NumbersUSA, it will grant legal status to as many as 1.35 million migrants and their families for at least the next five years, when the provisions sunset.

Feinstein asserts that without the amendment, food will rot in the fields and farmwork will move to Mexico. But if you haven’t noticed, food prices keep shooting upward. Food shortages have resulted in riots in several poor countries, because it’s becoming more expensive to eat. As the USDA reports, it’s a good time to be involved in agriculture:

Net farm income is forecast to be $92.3 billion, up 4.1 percent above the $88.7 billion farmers are projected to have earned in 2007 and 51 percent above its 10-year average of $61.1 billion.

Net cash income, at $96.6 billion, is forecast to be $9 billion (10 percent) above 2007, which was the previous record. Net cash income is projected to rise more than net farm income because of the large carryover of crops harvested in the prior year, which will be sold in 2008.

The story in 2008 is the value of crop production ($175.5 billion), which is forecast to exceed the 2007 record by $25.9 billion (a 17-percent increase). Prices of major crops (corn, soybeans, wheat) were trending upward in late 2007 and are expected to maintain or add to those gains in early 2008.

An end to all illegal farm labor would, by the pro-legalization Utah Farm Federation Bureau’s own estimates, result in a net loss of $5 billion (as of ’06) for US farmers. So the industry would see its profits reduced by less than 10%.

As CATO’s Daniel Griswold points out, the industry receives nearly four times the amount of that profit loss each year in the form of government subsidies:

During the past twenty years, farm programs have cost America’s non-farm households a cumulative $1.7 trillion. That is how much non-farm households would have in the bank today if they had been allowed to save and invest what they have been forced to surrender to favored farmers through our never-ending farm programs. …

Farm support programs cost taxpayers nearly $20 billion a year, real money even in Washington. …

Average household income for family farms is now 10 percent [how fitting!] above the average income for non-farm households.

That the agricultural industry receives double-subsidization while still coming out nearly $100 billion in the black reveal Feinstein’s warnings to be tripe. But I’d much rather increase federal subsidies another $10 billion through guaranteed purchase agreements and even direct cash transfers than grant legalization to millions of migrant farmworkers.

The costs of unfettered immigration of Hispanic menials far exceeds an accounting cost of $5-$10 billion for US farm interests. In addition to at least half of illegal immigrant households costing the net taxpayer an average of over $22,000 a year in benefits beyond the tax contributions they make, these costs include depressed academic achievement and lowered average IQ, a decrease in housing affordability, increased infrastructure usage and pollution, atavistic diseases returning to the US after decades of absence, an increasing percentage of the population lacking health insurance, etc.

The Senate could potentially vote on the bill, which has now cleared committee, as early as today. If not today, then sometime early next week. Contact your Senators and let them know how you feel about granting amnesty to illegal farmworkers. Information for doing so is available here. NumbersUSA has some useful talking points that can be used equally well if you decide to call, write, fax, or email. You might also mention disgust at the furtive way Feinstein is going about pushing this on us, attaching it to a war spending bill.

(Republished from The Audacious Epigone by permission of author or representative)
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  1. savage says: • Website

    Mine have heard, my lower representative as well. This is the bi-partisan cooperation to be enjoyed for four more years at the least. One side allows for a breach of the public will in exchange for the other side doing the same for it. Twice then the will of the public is overturned here. Endless money for the Mesopatamia occupation and more money for commercial farms using manorial practices to take even more from the nation that sustains them.

  2. Dee says: • Website

    The reality is, Feinstein is determined to address the emergency situation we currently have in the AgJobs industry.
    Last year 13,280 US farms shut down. Many farmers have moved their operations to Mexico. We need a solution.
    This is NOT an amnesty bill. Read the legislation. What is your side´s problem. You reveal yourself when you use terms: "Hispanic Menials".Afraid of a few brown people are we? That is the real issue isn´t it.

    Roy Beck and his puppets will try as they might to stop this bill but he is not going to fool Congress or the American Public this time!

    I wrote about this on my blog. More and more of us TRUE AMERICANS understand what Beck and others like you are really trying to accomplish!

  3. I sent my messages, and I'm not concerned that the other side says racism fascism xenophobia etc. If they had convincing arguments as to why we need to subsidize our most backward operations, even when they're getting rich prices, they would use them and not the attempted smearing. Thanks for keeping us informed.

  4. Interestingly, the "TRUE AMERICAN" identifies as being Mexican on the linked blog. Apparently true American means Indian or something like that. Too bad they didn't have their own name for the American continents so that they could monopolize it today. Hemisphericals, pre-columbians, neo-indigenes, or what should the name be? American means our citizenry not the land of the

  5. Another point that stands out, is the way all issues keep getting telescoped down to sovereignty itself. To the extent it is that way, doesn't this imply that power is the motivation, since disputes over who shall have the sovereignty are about power, but not except tangentially, about money or any other consideration?

  6. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Downblog a bit, "Al Fin" attempted in very amateurish fashion to taunt me about my pessimism as regards immigration. He says I am uncreative, and do not understand the way the world works. He dislikes the fact that I charge the wealthy and powerful with bringing this state of affairs on us.

    I just checked Numbers USA before coming to your blog, AE. Then I saw you picked up on the same story.

    This is another example of how devilish, fiendish, and tireless the Treason Lobby is in their efforts to open our borders entirely and destroy this country. They never give up. They will never give up destroying this country until power is wrested from their filthy hands, and the rule of law is restored.

    AE, my friend, this doesn't take CREATIVE THINING. That's devious bullshit masquerading as the truth. It just takes some courage.

  7. Dee,

    If Feinstein was determined to deal with this "emergency" situation, she wouldn't couch it under an Iraq spending bill Republicans are going to be urged by leadership to go along with.

    More than 1,000,000 businesses will file for bankruptcy this year in the US alone. The sky is not falling. This is the market at work. Do we need 100 similar bills to address all of these failed ventures (plus the ones that go under without filing officially)?

    Small, individual farming operations make little sense, as economies of scale add so much utility in the agricultural industry.

    I'm not particularly afraid for my own safety, since I'm not black, although I'd rationally be afraid of heading to many places south of the border.

    With unemployment creeping up while agricultural profits continue to increase, bringing in unskilled laborers who use more in government benefits than they pay in taxes while reducing the incentives for mechanization and technological innovation in the US is stupid.

    I am also interested in keeping the US as dissimilar to Mexico as possible. I don't want the diseases. I don't want the corruption. I don't want the poverty. I don't want the modest average intelligence. I don't want the political ineptitude. I don't want the economic inequality. I don't want the machismo culture.

    Importing more of all of these things is obviously not the way to reduce their frequency in the US. The logic is actually pretty simple–bring in lots of Mexicans and the US is going to become more like Mexico.

    I understand that your kinship bonds drive you to favor more immigration from Mexico into the US. Race is essentially an extended family with some level of inbreeding present, and thus you feel closer to Mestizos than you probably do to most Americans of entirely European descent. That doesn't mean I have to sacrifice my way of life or the well-being of my children for your benefit. I will do what I can to protect this country from the parasitical migration of the underclass to the extent that it is possible.

    If this cohort is so desirable though, why steal them from Mexico? How selfish of us, no?

  8. Dee,

    Also, the majority of the public sympathizes with Beck. Although virtually the entire Establishment (big religion, big business, big media, big politics, etc) backs amnesty for various self-serving reasons, overwhelmingly the public favors greater immigration restriction.


    You're right. The puerile name-calling shouldn't intimidate. Ad hominem is not legitimate argumentation, and should be called out thus immediately.


    Al Fin isn't an antagonist here. He is with us on this. He's a scientific mind, and maybe overly optimistic regarding demographics. But he's aware of the damage uneducated, underclass, unfettered immigration into the West causes.

  9. Another suspicion: Mightn't it be that the irrigation operators, ranchers and such who are lobbying for this, are doing so not in SPITE of , but BECAUSE of, the terms of trade having shifted so much in their favor, releasing excess funds?

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