Saturday, May 6, 2023

On this Cinco de Mayo weekend, let's acknowledge your Lawn & your Takeout are responsible for the Migrant "Crisis"

“So we went to the company and we said, look, you can’t have any illegals working on our property,” said Romney. “I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake, I can’t have illegals. It turns out that once, they hired someone who had falsified their documents, had documents, and therefore we fired them.”  If you believe these absurd lies from Vulture Capitalist Mitt R-Money... well Bain Capital will gladly manage steal your pension too.
Whenever, I'm home this time of year, it doesn't matter the day of the week or the time of day, and go out into my yard to weed or pick up branches or rake up yard detritus my fanatical neighbor cranks up his two lawn mowers (ones a riding) and mows his lawn to prove to me that his Surburbanite bonafides are superior to mine.  Often I give up and go inside because I do "yard work" as a mental reset, a time to turn of my brain, and enjoy physical labor in an almost meditative state. 

But, when I'm at work driving around Millon Dollar Suburban homes this time of year, I see trailer after trailer of lawn mowing equipment being towed by half-ton and three-quarter ton diesels, belching out fumes.  And the various pieces of equipment are, of course, also gas-powered so besides noise they also belch forth petroleum fumes.

All to maintain a lawn as though your yard and home are a Ducal Estate.  Lawns were always a "status symbol" of the elite, as having a large, non-food based "crop" across your land indicated you were not a farmer and could afford the luxury of having large tracts of monoculture vegetation.

Of course, the cutting and mowing also requires ridiculous watering (often done automatically even during rain storms) and gobs of pesticide/herbicide applications.  And let's not forget the attached "Carriage House" for your Auto-Mobiles.

Now, who does all this "lawn care"?  Why the very people oft demonized by the owners of these million dollar homes and yards;  Hispanic Immigrants.

Additionally, your favorite restaurant whether it be McDonald's or The Chicago Double Eagle Steak House employs large number of immigrants, and while they might not be the Sommelier, they might be cooking, they definitely will be busing table sand washing the dishes but, regardless of their role migrants will be there.  So, your lifestyle of lounging in the yard and eating your favorite takeout is thanks in large part to Hispanic Immigrants.

What we know the Republicans are never serious about "solving" the border crisis because they don't target those responsible.  The Corporations and businesses which rely upon and entice people to come here.  As John Fugelsang points out there is a Huge HELP WANTED sign at the border.  Republicans will never chastise companies which employ migrants because using migrant labor lubricates the US economy in numerous ways.

But, migrants help Republicans undercut US Labor and remain a useful cudgel to bash Democrats and liberals about the head with the term "Illegals" while whipping up their racist base and keeping rightwingers in a permanent frothing fury.

Axios has a good article about the No Mow and other anti-lawn pushbacks against obsessed Suburbanite Lawn Nazis and the inevitable Reactionary pushback and use of the legal system to punish no mowers.


Anonymous said...

Mitt Romney's comment rings true to me - he admits that he knew that undocumented workers were hired to perform tasks, and it didn't bother him until he planned on running for office.

If Republicans really wanted to stop this, they'd pass laws imposing criminal penalties and stiff fines (2x or more the salary that should have been paid) on any employers caught paying undocumented workers less than others in the industry.

However, this would empower workers - that's not something a private equity form ever wants to do.

Grung_e_Gene said...

Republicans love immigrant labor for it's invaluable role in driving down wages, the cherry on top for Republicans and Vultures Capitalists is when they can also have migrant children work flipping burgers for free.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Two 10-year-olds are among 300 children who worked at McDonald’s restaurants illegally, a Labor Department investigation of franchisees in Kentucky found.

Agency investigators found the 10-year-olds received little or no pay at a McDonald’s in Louisville, the Labor Department said. The three franchisees were fined $212,000 in total.

Louisville’s Bauer Food LLC, which operates 10 McDonald’s locations, employed 24 minors under the age of 16 to work more hours than legally permitted, the agency said. Among those were two 10-year-old children. The agency said the children sometimes worked as late as 2 a.m., but were not paid.

Unknown said...

Tony Bourdain said the entire restaurant industry in the US would collapse if we really cracked down on undocumented labor:

"People have differing opinions on what we should do about immigration in the future. How open or how closed our borders should be. Fine. But let's be honest, at least, about who is cooking in America NOW. Who we rely on--have relied on for decades. The bald fact is that the entire restaurant industry in America would close down overnight, would never recover, if current immigration laws were enforced quickly and thoroughly across the board. Everyone in the industry knows this. It is undeniable. Illegal labor is the backbone of the service and hospitality industry--Mexican, Salvadoran and Ecuadoran in particular. To contemplate actually doing without is to contemplate mass closings, a general shake-out of individually owned and operated restaurants--and, of course, unthinkably (now) higher prices in the places that manage to survive. Considering that our economy and employment picture is now largely based on us selling hamburgers to each other, the ripple effects would be grave. I know very few chefs who've even heard of a US born citizen coming in the door to ask for a dishwasher, night clean-up or kitchen prep job. Until that happens--let's at least try to be honest when discussing this issue."