Morning Read: Looking the other way on illegal immigration?

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin is taking heat from Republicans for saying point-blank that his administration has a sort of don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy when it comes to illegal migrant workers.  This from the Burlington Free Press.

We kind of look the other way as much as we can. I just want to make sure that is what we are doing. That has clearly been our policy.”

He went on to explain that Vermont agriculture depends on migrant labor. “There is just no doubt about it, we need foreign workers,” he said.

According to the newspaper, Vermont’s GOP doesn’t like that philosophy much, calling it “completely irresponsible.”

There is a lot of evidence that a similar policy shapes the policing (or lack thereof) of migrant workers in northern New York.

Despite the fact that we’re within shouting distance of a massive US Border Patrol presence, a lot of undocumented workers play a vital role in the Norh Country’s dairy industry.

So what do you think?  Is this is a good way to run an industry, using grey- or black-market labor?  If not, what should be done about it? As always, your comments welcome.

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15 Comments on “Morning Read: Looking the other way on illegal immigration?”

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  1. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    I wonder if someone can show an example of a society that does not have a large grey- or black-market labor pool and if so, what does that society and economy look like?

  2. Jim Bullard says:

    Revision: Do you Remember when teachers, public employees, Planned Parenthood, NPR/PBS and foreign farm workers crashed the stock market, wiped out half of our 401Ks, took trillions in TARP money, gave themselves billions in bonuses, and paid no taxes? Yeah.. Me Neither.

    The focus on illegal immigration is a diversionary tactic. Anyone who believes that these people trying to make a living at grunt labor for low wages are the source of our problems needs to open their eyes. Speaker Boehner calls Obama’s plan to tax the rich “class warfare” but the real class warfare is blaming the people at the bottom, those who were hurt the most and have the least power and resources to do anything about it.

  3. Bob S says:

    If you can’t sustain your business without using illegal labor then you are in the wrong business.

  4. Hillary in 012 says:

    When forming an opinion on this topic most of us have to weight the assets they provide against the liabilities they present. Looking at my list, I see more liabilities. It is somewhat interesting that we have a Democratic President trying to create jobs and a Democratic Governor who doesn’t have a problem giving jobs to illegal migrant workers.

  5. If Clapton is God, Warren Haynes is Jesus says:

    All the more reason why we need real immigration reform. And if you think the issue only relates to low wage agriculture labor than you’re not paying attention. Tech firms, manufacturing, medical services, etc. all rely on immigrant workers. Immigrants in those professions are typically allowed here through legal means, however. What we need is a better mechanism to allow low wage, low skilled workers to utilize work visas since Americans don’t want these jobs despite their importance to the economy as a whole. Sadly, like every other issue demanding reform, it gets swept up in the partisan politics that has gridlocked politics in this country.

  6. Dave says:

    What is the unemployment rate in VT

  7. JM Fay says:

    With an unemployment rate at 9 % and and underemployment rate much higher; we dont need more people in this country; we need less. Less people means more ability for those legally in this country to find a job and take care of their families. It also means more income for the govt as more people would be working and not having to be on unemployment, food stamps, etc. and they would be paying taxes on their earnings.

    Working people need a fair wage and not a slave wage. Companies and farms looking to hire for slave wages wont find any legal worker wanting to work for them. Thats why we need programs like e verify nationwide so that all work and that includes independent contractor work comes under prove you have the right to work and one person per ssn so that we weed all illegals out of the workforce and we force all people hiring for wokr to be on the same level playing field.

    Tell Congress to also stop all legal immigration except for a capped 250000 refugees per year and no more non ag visa holders. In addition all current non ag visa holders need to go home in 6 months; less if their visa expires sooner.

  8. Pete Klein says:

    Explain to me the difference between a farmer who uses low wage people from other countries to work on his farm and the major corporations who move the jobs out of the country for low wage workers.
    The only real difference I see is the farmer can’t move his farm out of the country but the large corporations can move the manufacturing out of the country.

  9. JDM says:

    I agree with Jim Bullard that to juxtapose illegal immigration with our current economic and debt problems is diversionary.

    There are much larger issues at play other than illegal immigration.

    That being said, there are reasons to deal with illegal immigration. Unfortunately, Obama cannot handle either task. The shoes he put on are ten sizes too big.

  10. FrugalYankee says:

    As usual, Putney Pete is talking out of both sides of his mouth.

    Check out his support of Obama’s Jobs Act.

    So Shumlin wants to see Americans get back to work, but maybe not Vermonters, is that it?

    Really I am thoroughly disgusted with the man. He has publicly stated that the state’s ecomony depends on people commiting illegal acts. And you know what? He is RIGHT. Time and again Vermont agencies act in defiance of the law in order to generate revenues – everyone who has a small business is aware of what goes on. But no one does anything to put a stop to it.

    Banana Republic Vermont. Shame!

  11. Walker says:

    Jim Bullard has it right: this is exactly the kind of divisive subject the right has been using since Reagan’s “welfare queens” that is designed to rile up voters and grab their attention so they will miss the massive transfer of wealth to the uber-wealthy that’s going on. Abortion, prayer, ground-zero mosques, gay marriage, etc, etc, blah, blah, blah; it’s meaningless compared to what’s going on behind the scenes. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain…

    Meanwhille, we now rank behind Ivory Coast in terms of economic equality.

  12. Dave Francis says:


    Governor of Texas Rick Perry canceled his chance of being President, as he had an insignificant standing on holding back the hordes of illegal aliens. In prior speeches he was more for amnesty than against it and handing out taxpayers money for tuition of illegal immigrant children is not honing the TEA PARTY to support him. The majority of Americans have trusted Politicians like Perry for far too long, good orators in front of crowds, but in actual fact his words are meaningless when it comes to legislating what “The People” really want–such as a real double layer fence across our Southern border–of which he disapproves and is a urgent National Security issue.

    In Furtherance to the growing concerns over the border fence that President Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano declares “that it’s Secure?” Go to the “American Patrol” website, and digest the surveys along the 2000 miles of border. It just doesn’t exist. Type into Google “American Patrol” and add Fence as keywords and then find out the truth and not exaggerations or lies. Thousands of miles still remain wide open, consisting of decaying rusted fencing. Hundreds of miles are just supplemented with vehicle barriers, which anybody could pass through.

    Check and decide for yourself if the borders are controlled on American Patrols full explanatory maps. There are hundreds of miles that federal agents that are even prohibited from the border areas , because of environmental laws that have gone haywire with regulatory policies. Yet the environmentalist remain lock-jawed on the mounds of filth and human effluent left by the thousands of illegal migrants and immigrants who slip through every month, who end up pilfering the taxpayers pockets . I think human life of a rancher comes first before a species of frog or a tiny plant instead of another “political Correct” endangered Species Act..

    Far superior in worth for Presidency is Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain, as neither are part of the GOP establishment. Bachmann, Cain should address strongly the expensive and social consequences of illegal immigration, which is consuming this nation in balkanization and wrecking American democracy. Both are heavily supported by the TEA PARTY and have exceptional immigration grades, to enforce the laws already on the books. Both are Constitutional Conservatives and believe fully in shrinking government, scrapping the present tax code and returning agencies of government to each individual State. Only the REAL TEA PARTY doesn’t crave the illegal alien votes, or massive influx of cheap labor for overwhelming power or profitable interests. If I had my way, I would vote in Donald Trump as president. He would make sure that International trade treaties played fairly. No other country has the most consumers’ in the world, so Trump would insure fair treaties instead of what we have now. My God! A child could get better results, then the rip off our Diplomats have made with China.

    Don’t believe in the Liberal Progressives, open border and radical organizations that THE TEA PARTY is an opponent of E-Verify as this is a downright lie. The TEA PARTY NATION that is just one of thousands of independent entities, as the TEA PARTY is just commonplace Americans, who have been kicked around too long. The majority of TEA PARTY members are unbending there will be no more Amnesties. No clandestine small Amnesties that have been happening for years, millions entering annually. True TEA PARTY leaders will rescind any Sanctuary City or State policies, with refusal a loss of federal funds.

    If you are appalled by the mockery of our immigration laws, reach for that phone and call you’re Representative at 202-224-3121. Don’t wait–this is a very powerful E-Verify bill that could help millions of Americans find work, especially in the lower incomes. When 20 million Americans are jobless, being only finding temporary or part time work, this should be not the time for hiring foreign nations. My commentary cannot possibly cover the whole travesties perpetrated on Americans, but all evidence of years of failure, unconcern and corruption is available at NumbersUSA, American Patrol and Judicial Watch. There are just three of the hundreds of serious pro-sovereignty organization, fighting the open border zealots.

    In Conclusion, Farmers and Mega-agricultural corporations complaining about E-verify and lose of cheap labor are keeping concealed that when an illegal alien worker is sick, he leaves that unfortunate uninsured soul at the emergency room. His whole families also are treated from a minor cough to a serious illness—which the taxpayers pay for eventually. Same with all the children, that are placed in Public schools—which come out of your taxes, not the farmer’s profits. It’s a fact that State and federal governments appropriate from taxpayers an estimated $113 billion dollars a year in catering to illegal aliens. (Heritage foundation study)


  13. Mervel says:

    This country needs immigrant labor it would hurt the economy to really enforce the law and it is impossible anyway. Migrant labor is not taking any jobs from any Americans or very few. They are not being paid below market, most immigrant farm labor for example makes between $10-$25 per hour. They are hired because they will move across the country and live on the property and work 12 hour shifts AND they are skilled. If they all left many industries would shut down, prices would go up, poverty would increase. The fact is they out compete the few American workers who may want those jobs, its not about low wages it is about work ethic and skill. Just ask any larger North county dairy farmer how many local workers worth two cents they can find to work the shifts necessary for the pay with the skills needed. They would hire local if they could but they can’t.

    But it is not the state’s responsibility to enforce national immigration law anyway, I though that was settled when Arizona tried? We can’t have it both ways either the states are involved or not I say we should embrace all hardworking people who can get a job and want to come here. These people help our country not hurt our country.

    We do need to secure the border and stop the dope smuggling though, but that means also reducing dope demand in the US and we love our dope.

  14. Mervel says:

    As far as Perry goes he comes from a state that is 40% hispanic soon to be majority Hispanic due to Mexican immigration and birth rates, and this is a good thing for Texas. He has had to deal with that reality and has done an okay job people come for the work, that is what you want people who want to work who have families who like children, how is that bad?

  15. I love how people from the north or north east that can tell us at ground zero that the illegal law breaking criminal aliens don’t take our jobs. You don’t have to explain to your kids why the can’t work at Taco Bell or McDonalds (MaDonnas) because they can’t speak spanish.

    Dallas, Texas has the most babies born to illegal aliens in the nation and that’s not a problem?

    The farmers have known this was coming and I don’t feel sorry for them. The farmers in the El Paso sector only work legal immigrants on their farms. What makes the farmers in the north east special?

    Rick (left&right) Perry, it depends on what side of the state he is on when you ask him about the fence. The fence works, just ask the farmers in El Paso!

    Illegal children that we have to educate by hiring illegal spanish speaking teachers.

    We need the law enforced plain and simple.

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