This I gotta see… looks to me like this free marketer is painting himself into a ironic corner!

Naaaah, he’s probably headed more in this direction:

GOP Faction Wants to Change “Birthright Citizenship” Policy

Pawlenty and Gopher.jpg

I remember from my meat hauler days spending time, long long hours of waiting, in the meat packing plants of Minnesota and Iowa, and the way from the loading dock to the bathroom was always a long scenic route through the plant. Much of my take on immigration, legal and illegal, comes from that time, as well as from Julie Bursik who was the resident expert on Immigration Law at the International Center. For those who’ve never been inside a meat packing plant, well, imagine a cold hell, with animals hanging by their feet, workers struggling to keep up with the production line, hampered in movement and protected by chainmail aprons and gloves… and out in LA when I was delivering, I’d hear the IBP ads to get workers to move to Iowa, and what the ads didn’t disclose was that the unions had been busted, workers were being imported into socially isolated trailer parks, and sometimes local rage at union busting and replacement erupted into literal flames. I’ve also had several clients who were here illegally, and I learned a lot from their travails.

What would the impact be if the U.S. really did shut its doors to the laborers that certain industries depend on? Would Pawlenty really alter that tacit corporate deal? What is Pawlenty thinking of in terms of policy that won’t have a detrimental affect on his corporate masters? Where is he going? Could it be that Pawlenty would turn meatpacking, nursery/landscaping, construction, hotel and restaurant industries on their heads — that he’d increase wages, require insurance and improve working conditions such that U.S. workers could support a family at the jobs typically filled by illegal immigrants?

Or does he propose to ease immigration requirements so they’re not “illegal?”

State ties steep costs to illegal immigration

From that article:

Pawlenty first hinted a policy move on illegal immigration after President Bush addressed the issue last week. Two days later, Pawlenty visited Worthington in southwest Minnesota, a city of 11,000 with a large immigrant population, to discuss the issue with community leaders. This week he held a similar session in Rochester, another city with many immigrants.

“We have heard a broad variety of concerns about education, health care, housing and law enforcement,” McClung said. “You cannot justify the current chaotic immigration system by saying it provides cheap labor. It creates an underground economy and opens people up to exploitation.”

Thursday’s report was produced by the Department of Administration, whose commissioner, Dana Badgerow, called its findings “alarming.”

It estimated the number of illegal, or undocumented, immigrants in Minnesota at 80,000 to 85,000, more than the numbers in at least 20 other states. An estimated 17,000 of their children cost public schools $146 million to $158 million to educate in 2004, and another $30 million went to costs for subsidized health care and incarceration for crime, the report said. “In addition, illegal immigrants arguably displace American workers, which contributes to lost jobs and wages,” it said.

Immigrant contributions

Legislation adopted in 2003 barred illegal immigrants from most health and welfare assistance, except emergency and pregnancy services, to which the report attributed an annual cost of $17.3 million. And the Department of Corrections estimated a cost of $12.8 million for imprisoning 501 illegal aliens in the year ended June 30.

An unknown portion of those costs is offset by taxes paid by illegal immigrants, the report said. About 8,000 file state income tax returns; many others don’t, but taxes deducted from their paychecks remain in state coffers.

Focusing on illegal immigrants’ costs without counting their contributions doesn’t make sense, said Jared Erdmann, co-director of Hacer, a Hispanic research organization in the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. He said a Hacer study estimated the buying power of Latinos, believed to make up the bulk of illegals in Minnesota, at $3.1 billion. Migrants, both legal and illegal, have revitalized entire neighborhoods, he added.

Here’s the link to the actual report:

The Impact of Illegal Immigration on Minnesota

And here’s another article from the STrib:

Minnesota’s illegal workers in the spotlight

Oh, ya think Pawlenty might not support wage hikes, insurance and better working conditions? Well, there was that Executive Order telling unions where to go… so what might he do that’s not a draconian and punative political liability?

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