The Justice Department announced today that it filed a lawsuit against Crop Production Services Inc. (Crop Production), headquartered in Loveland, Colorado, for allegedly discriminating against U.S. workers in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
The complaint alleges that in 2016, Crop Production discriminated against at least three United States citizens by refusing to employ them as seasonal technicians in El Campo, Texas, because Crop Production preferred to hire temporary foreign workers under the H-2A visa program. According to the department’s complaint, Crop Production imposed more burdensome requirements on U.S. citizens than it did on H-2A visa workers to discourage U.S. citizens from working at the facility. For instance, the complaint alleges that whereas U.S. citizens had to complete a background check and a drug test before being permitted to start work, H-2A workers were allowed to begin working without completing them and, in some cases, never completed them. The complaint also alleges that Crop Production refused to consider a limited-English proficient U.S. citizen for employment but hired H-2A workers who could not speak English. Ultimately, all of Crop Production’s 15 available seasonal technician jobs in 2016 went to H-2A workers instead of U.S. workers.
The U.S. should not simultaneously have unemployment and programs to permit the hiring of foreign workers. It’s long past time to take all the incentives out of the “guest worker” programs by making them prohibitively expensive for U.S. companies. Guest worker visas should be so difficult to obtain that companies find it cheaper to offer retraining opportunities to American citizens than to import Indian or Chinese laborers. As retraining becomes more widely available, the government should also make clear that Americans who fail to take advantage of the opportunity will no longer be allowed to draw unemployment benefits.
This may all be part of the “dismal science,” but it’s certainly not rocket science. Where globalists went wrong was in applying the principle of comparative advantage to international trade without taking into account that money, like water and electricity, takes the path of least resistance. “Free trade” cannot be fair trade when one party (like China) doesn’t offer a minimum wage or the basic economic protections we’ve come to take for granted. By allowing such lopsided relationships, we’ve sold our economic inheritance for pennies on the dollar at WalMart, while allowing practices we find abhorrent to flourish overseas. This is hardly the U.S. leading by example.
Protecting American jobs may cause the prices of some goods to rise, but that’s literally a small price compared to allowing our economy–and its workers–to be undermined fatally by current practices. As Toby Keith sang:
“He’s got the red, white and blue flying’ high on the farm,
Semper Fi tatooed on his left arm,
Paid a little more in the store for a tag in the back that says USA…”