Friday, May 15, 2009

Got Milk?

GOT MILK? Then thank an immigrant.

A recent Associated Press story highlights the part Latino immigrants have played in saving what is left of the family dairy farm in Vermont and other states throughout the country. These dairy farms do not fit neatly into the usual media description of large, greedy corporate villains that are exploiting undocumented workers -- and keeping jobs from US citizens in order to cut payroll costs. The fact is, even if times as tough as these it is hard to find citizens who are willing to work on the farm. These are jobs that offer difficult hours, bad weather, and physical exertion; the pay is not necessarily bad -- but it is not enough to say attract unemployed software engineers from Boston or unemployed autoworkers from the mid-west. Yet there are still workers who will journey from Guatemala or Mexico for these jobs and other farming jobs around the country in what some like to call the "Real America".

To link to the story:

Old Promises and New Blood...

That is the title of a report produced in November of 2008 by the Reform Institute in Washington, DC. Past Directors of the Reform Institute include former New Hampshire Congressman Charlie Bass.

The report points out that the impending retirement of the baby boom generation will present enormous challenges to the United States economy and push entitlement programs such as social security and Medicare to their limits and beyond. As approximately 78 million Americans begin to exit the workforce over the next two decades, how can we as a nation continue to grow the economy? Retirees tend to reign in their spending and many move from their long-time residences to smaller retirement homes or even assisted living facilities -- what can support the market for family housing (which even now is just beginning to recover from the bursting of the housing bubble) in the years to come?

The report explains that immigration has to be part of the answer. The United States population is getting older. This is particularly true here in New England which has the highest median aged population in the country. Immigrants tend to be younger people and to have more children than longer established American families. If we as a country do not encourage immigration, we face the prospect of having only a little more than two workers supporting every retiree. Social security and Medicare cannot function properly under that kind of stress. If we are going to find rational solutions to the demographic and economic challenges ahead -- we as a country have to get over our fear of people from elsewhere moving here. If we cannot find a way to welcome and assimilate a new generation of immigrants into this country, our standard of living is likely to suffer.

To read the report (requires Adobe Reader):

Friday, May 8, 2009

ICE Enforcement Strategy

Immigration Customs and Enforcement has set forth its strategy for enforcement of employer sanctions.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Immigration Reform and Improved Economy

The Wall Street Journal links immigration reform with an improvement in the econonmy.

Comprehensive Immigration Reform

All signs point toward comprehensive immigration reform and it may be sooner than we think. See also:


On April 30, 2009, Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) announced a new strategy for enforcement of employer sanctions. For details see the ICE release at:


Funding for the controversial E-Verify program will end in September 2009. Because of the reliability issues, many businesses want the program to remain voluntary. Advocates for stricter immigration want mandatory participation. To understand the history or E-Verify and the issues involved see this article from the Migration Policy Institute.