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Variations on a Theme: Now Newsweek Tells Us How Awful It Is That Immigration Enforcement Is Working So Well

By See-Dubya  •  April 16, 2008 01:59 PM

How well? Newsweek’s story opens up with the customary interview of an illegal immigrant just trying to make ends meet, and self-deporting:

Since the employer sanctions law went into effect, Roberto has been fired from one job because he had no documents. He quit his other job to seek higher-paying day labor, but that never panned out. Now he earns less than the meager $120 a week he made as a construction worker back in Mexico.

That’s the idea. Economic incentives lead to self-deportation. From there, naturally, it’s a reprise of the theme introduced by the LA Times, with the labor shortages and businesses that cater to illegal immigrants shutting down and the climate of fear and repression and scary scary oh noes, and (apparently a matter of exigent political concern to the Left)…expensive produce:

In the Yuma area, where agricultural workers earn from $10 to $19 per hour, farmers couldn’t find enough laborers to harvest their lettuce crop, Sigg says. Other farmers have stopped planting labor-intensive vegetables like lettuce in favor of mechanically harvested alfalfa and wheat, and some farmers are considering selling out altogether, he says. “If the agricultural industry can’t get laborers, the land will be converted to other uses and we’ll put our food production at the mercy of other countries,” Sigg predicts.

Is it really a labor shortage driving this, though, or something else? Wheat prices are through the roof, and UNESCO is putting the blame on increased demand from another, slightly less PC sector:

Rising food prices – one of the world’s fastest-growing crises – are being blamed on China’s rapidly increasing consumption, climate change and the increased use of biofuels, all of which heavily increase demand disproportionately against supply.

“The diversion of agricultural crops to fuel can raise food prices and reduce our ability to alleviate hunger throughout the world,” the report said. Wheat prices have risen by 130 per cent since March 2007 and soy prices by 87 per cent, it added. Last week, the World Bank warned that 100 million more people could be pushed into poverty because food prices had risen by 83 per cent in three years.

No joke. I saw this picture on a story about Pakistan sealing its borders to prevent smuggling and I thought…well, you know what I thought:


Guess what? It’s flour.