Idaho Dispatch

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Stop With the Political Propaganda – the Idaho Senate Made a Smart Move for Idaho

By • March 29, 2023

The Idaho Republican Party Chairwoman Dorothy Moon recently distributed an opinion piece through the state GOP email, falsely claiming Idaho is trying to turn blue. This is a petty talking point to pander to a small group of people and divide the GOP. Her statistics regarding Senate Joint Memorial 101 (SJM101) were far-fetched – here’s the facts from someone actually involved in the agriculture industry, which is one of many in need of immigration reform.

Last week, 25 Senators voted yes on SJM101, calling on the Federal government to strengthen our national security by increasing border control, improving the system for entry and exit of guest workers, and ensuring our citizens have a secure, domestic food supply.

Let’s cut through the noise – here are the facts about SJM101.

Chairwoman Moon claims “America admits over 180 million legal immigrants every year”. How is this possible? The U.S. only has 332 million residents. So – what she’s saying is over half our total population is added to the country each year. FALSE.

The truth, 1.8 million legal guest workers were admitted through visa programs in 2021, to support not only agriculture, but construction, technology, hospitality, manufacturing, and other labor-intensive industries. Chairwoman Moon inflated the “reality” by 100 times to simply create dissent and division within the party she claims to lead.

Chairwoman Moon claims immigrants take jobs away from American workers. FALSE.

The fact is, Americans are not lining up to work in our fields and food processing plants. Any employer wishing to bring in a temporary worker on a visa must first show proof they tried to hire an American first – but if no local applies, employers are obliged to rely on guest workers to get the job done. Don’t you want to have a domestic source of food? I know I do. We should reject a path that leads to dependence on foreign states for our food supply.

Chairwoman Moon alleges this issue is about “supply and demand” claiming “American workers haven’t seen a real wage increase in 40 years”. FALSE.

The truth, the current minimum wage of $7.25 was set in 2009, 14 years ago. The ag industry offers twice that, at an average hourly rate of $15.68. Even accounting for inflation, wages are up, and yet so still is the demand for labor that goes unfilled.

Chairwoman Moon claims working immigrants are subsidized by the government. FALSE.

The employer must pay for all transportation and housing. The immigrant worker then must pay federal and state taxes. Fearmongering from political buzzwords is a tactical goal to scare people. In realty, guest workers are NOT granted amnesty or permanent residence status. SJM101 does NOT offer any path to U.S. citizenship. Rather, SJM101 calls for punishments for those who cross our borders illegally, including a misdemeanor fine and a lifetime ban from seeking U.S. citizenship. NONE of this is amnesty.

No reasonable American is asking for a flood of illegal immigrants to take over the labor market. But because only the Federal government has the authority to regulate immigration, Idaho is taking a stand to demand necessary changes now.

The Idaho GOP platform calls for a strong and viable agriculture industry. Right now, Idaho’s farmers are in desperate need of workers to ensure we all have food on our table each day. The Federal government’s lack of action on immigration is putting the future of our farmers at risk.

We applaud the common goal of Senate Joint Memorial 101 and the 25 Senators who voted in favor of putting the interests of our state’s critical industries before inflammatory statements made to hit political talking points.

Idaho citizens stand with its vital industries – so should the GOP and all elected officials.

by Celia Gould, Rancher and Former Director of the Idaho State Department of Agriculture

This Op-Ed was submitted by Celia Gould. Op-Eds do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of those at the Idaho Dispatch.

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Tags: Agriculture, Amnesty, Dorothy Moon, Idaho Farmers, Idaho GOP, Illegal Immigration, Immigration Policy, Immigration Reform, SJM101

11 thoughts on “Stop With the Political Propaganda – the Idaho Senate Made a Smart Move for Idaho

  1. Celia one of the main reasons our United States Citizens don’t work in farming or hospitality is because of the strength of the underground farm workers unions, control of the industries by the Coyotes that profit from exploiting people. You know this and for anyone doubting it, go try to get a job working in these industries, the Coyotes will have their slaves run you out or hurt you.

  2. Celia, you are not welcome here to spread your blatant lies. You’re just another liberal hack who wants to deflect the stupidity your party of idiots have caused and we are not buying it any more.

    Those numbers are indeed correct. The majority of commercial farms in the state of Idaho, and the rest of the country for that matter, employs “migrant workers”, ie., illegal immigrants and their families. Oh, you forgot to add up the family members too? Gee, that’s convenient, eh? And on average, how many members are usually in a migrant worker’s family? Wife? Children? And how many of those are we paying to put through our education system? Well now! I’m sure you don’t want to talk about any of that either, right?

    And I quote from the Migration Policy Institute, “…45.3 million immigrants in the United States as of 2021, by compiling the most authoritative and current data available.”. Wow! Only 45.3 million! Source? Sure! I have nothing to hide, unlike you!

    Wait, that’s just the documented immigrants! And for every documented immigrant, how many are UN-documented? Well? Let’s hear an answer from you!

    Never mind, you make up numbers more often than I use the restroom. 1.8 million? Please! Maybe in just one, small midwest state. Maybe.

    Take your lies and deceit elsewhere, Idaho has no room for your incessant b.s., you’re more than welcome to move to Oregon or California, they are more than happy to have another fibber in their state.

  3. Ms. Gould. Thank you for sharing your opinions. It is clear that Ms. Moon inflated her number on the total number of illegal immigrants, that much is true. But let’s look at the real cause that many “don’t want to work in agriculture.”

    Could it be due to the fact that the Federal Government controls almost every aspect of farming life through subsidies and controls? Could it be due to the fact that farmers are constantly in debt, utterly dependent on a good crop to even stay in business? Could it be due to the fact that leftists are actively trying to put all private farmers and ranchers out of business either through ESG standards or through a perverse interpretation of the Waters of the United States rule? Could it be due to the fact that minimum wage laws fly directly in the face of arranged purchasing agreements with food retailers, squeezing out any profit motive?

    This is a lot bigger than just the illegal immigration debate. The United States at one point was an agrarian economy. I don’t object to the advances in technology which have seen farmers become 100x more productive than they were 100 years ago, but I think we need to overhaul the whole thing – not just micro-focus on one aspect.

  4. She is right that the American workers are not lining up for these jobs. Why?? Could it be that government programs (welfare, food stamps, medical, phones and on and on) have softened the American worker?? You make more money than working the fields. So why should Americans work? Illegals have filled these spots because of the soft American workers and the governments failure to enforce the laws of the nation!!

  5. Celia, respectfully, your numbers only reflect the legal entrants, which are scant compared to the illegal entrants. Please go pander your liberal misinformation somewhere else to somebody else.
    Ed B.

  6. I disagree with Celia’s findings and the fact she can’t see the LEFTS infringement on conservative Idaho. She is entitled to first amendment rights. M H

  7. I cannot accept the propaganda of any agent that advances creeping globalist agendas that aim to weaken the fiber of our sovereign community. When Clinton and Gramm and Rubin et al conspired to devalue the Peso back in 1994, and then implemented NAFTA in 1996, the Latin American laborer was forced by loss of wealth to be driven north to the first stop….brand new factories at the border on the Mexican side….and then contemplate the next move into the USA by illegal means.
    This has never stopped and the Deep State has only acted to turn up the pressure by bribes and threats and slave contracts to run even more millions into the USA. Biden has opened the border to allow a pure flood of human trafficking victims and willing infiltrators into the USA. It’s a smorgasboard of inavders of all types. Drugs and slaves and thieves and killers are trafficked in…and even back….as necessary to the criminals running these operations. Our elections systems are rigged to protect these operations at the state and local levels.
    We are at a precipice and this is a war.

  8. Ms. Gould has stated that U.S. citizens don’t want farm jobs. They move to the city for better pay, maybe education, and excitement. I would like Ms Gould the farmer to consider the fact that dairy farmers don’t automate because it is easy to find cheap immigrant labor. Do the farmers pay for the school education of the laborer’s children; do they house them; what about their medical and dental care?
    WE pay for all the extras regarding farm workers. How poor are Idaho farmers?? Is there a study? The farmers that I know are not poor but they also don’t run for the legislature.

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