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Should We Welcome Foreign Workers?
Are foreign workers and U.S. citizens being exploited as wealth is transferred from taxpayers to companies?
Almost all of us are children of immigrants, so welcoming foreigners seems like an honorable thing to do. But does it really make social and economic sense?
A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul. — George Bernard Shaw
Many companies want foreign labor because foreigners are willing to work for a lower wage in exchange for the opportunity to live and tap into the social services in the United States. In addition, companies pay less taxes on foreign workers than they do for domestic employees. And an influx of foreign workers puts downward pressure on overall wages. The end result is the company ends up paying lower wages which means higher profits.
The financial benefit is so significant that companies hire lobbyists and lobbying organizations, like the Chamber of Commerce, to pressure politicians to approve more foreign workers (the lobbying is effective - Representative Johnson requests more foreign worker visas, Senator Thune requests more foreign worker visas). Companies often argue that they cannot find enough domestic workers to fill positions. In reality, the issue is often pay, not a willingness for people to take the assignments.
Not surprisingly, foreign workers often cause social strains in the communities where they land. Not only do their jobs provide less than a living wage, but work permits are often restricted to one family member. In addition, some citizens are forced to take jobs at the new lower wage.
As a result, both the foreign workers and displaced citizens need food and housing subsidies and social programs to survive. In the past, companies paid for housing, food, schooling, and social activities for foreign workers. Today almost all of the cost is born by the taxpayers.
Even with the taxpayer subsidies, the families of the foreign workers and citizens that now have to work for a lower wage struggle to make ends meet. In an effort to survive, many resort to under-the-counter employment where they are paid in cash. Some get involved in prostitution, human trafficking, and illegal drug sales and distribution while others take on domestic roles (housekeeping, handyman services, yard work).
In addition, many foreign workers have weak English language skills and come from cultures that have very different societal views on women, the age of sexual consent, and violence. As a result of under-the-counter employment and different cultural norms, crime often increases exponentially when they arrive.
When communities begin to complain about the social strain, companies donate money for facilities like swimming pools, football stadiums, parks, etc. and pressure politicians to allocate funds for taxpayer funded social programs. The money for these taxpayer funded social programs often come in the form of grants.
Unfortunately, the grants further compound the problem. Churches and other 501(c)(3) organizations, like Lutheran Social Services, are the recipients of these grants. As a result, organizations that would normally advocate for citizens are conflicted. The organizations can either make money off government (taxpayer funded) grants or speak out on the social strains that families are experiencing.
The grants also go to government (public) schools in an attempt to normalize the radically different views on women, age of sexual consent, etc. And while the indoctrination may make citizens less reactive, it does nothing to solve the problem.
Sadly, in most cases, today’s foreign workers just facilitate a transfer of wealth and quality of life from taxpayers to companies.
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