Editorial: A price to pay for immigration crackdown | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Editorial: A price to pay for immigration crackdown

The voices of Nevadans who have spoken out on immigration reform have largely been in favor of strict measures to stop illegals from working in the United States. Reform or not, we, too, support enforcement of existing laws on immigration.

But make no mistake about it, there will be plenty of economic pain to endure if enforcement increases.

Already, some areas of the country are experiencing those costs.

In Washington, for example, migrant farmworkers are in short supply after crackdowns at the border. As a result, strawberry and blueberry crops are rotting on the vine. Some farmers there are asking for a guest-worker program and say they are not finding any U.S. citizens to hire to take the place of the migrant workers.

Nevada isn’t as reliant on migrant farmworkers, but it seems likely there are large numbers of illegals working here in other industries.

What kind of impact would this state face if authorities step up enforcement? Nobody can say for sure because any employer who hires an illegal worker would be admitting to breaking the law. But the Pew Hispanic Center estimates the number of illegal workers in Nevada to be about 170,000.

If the flow of cheap labor ends, prices for services and products they supply will increase.

Employers will have to pay more, and it will put to test the theory that spoiled employers have been keeping wages artificially low.

Will Americans really do the jobs held by foreign workers if they are paid respectable wages?

We may be on the verge of finding an answer to that question, but it may not come cheaply.

– From the Carson City Nevada Appeal.

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