Tuesday, October 15, 2019
Trumpenfreude for an exploiter of illegal aliens
For years, businessmen in New Mexico have exploited illegal aliens by paying them under the table for less than Americans and legal immigrants would receive.
But President Donald John Trump is cracking down on businesses that are breaking the law.
Reporting from Hobbs in Lea County, New Mexico, Reuters found poor Johnny Vega. For years, he exploited illegal aliens. Now he cannot. His lawbreaking caught up with him.
An overly sympathetic Reuters reported, "The son of a Mexican guestworker, Vega cannot find enough legal workers to meet demand for his oil well service rigs.
"There is no shortage of Hispanic and Latino immigrant workers without work permits he could hire in Lea County, New Mexico -- the No.2 oil-producing county in the United States.
"But Vega says he wants to play by the rules, not least because of a heightened risk of company audits by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) under President Donald Trump. As a result, he has equipment that could be generating $700,000 a month standing idle in his yard."
Had he hired Americans and other legal workers in the first place, he would not have to be scrounging for replacements.
Reuters said, "Employers like Vega in the Permian Basin oilfields of New Mexico and Texas say they feel caught between Trump’s support for their industry and his policies focused on tougher immigration enforcement.
"It’s a dilemma faced in other sectors of the U.S. economy that depend on foreign workers after ICE reported surges of between 300% to 750% in worksite investigations, audits and arrests in fiscal year 2018."
But there is no dilemma. Don't do the crime if you can't pay the fine.
Ending the exploitation of illegal aliens means a jump in wages for those who work in New Mexico legally.
Reuters said, "The number of rigs drilling for oil in New Mexico hit a record 115 in early October and labor shortages are felt most keenly in service companies like Vega’s that help keep the oil flowing.
"The Permian Basin is short 15,000 workers, with demand met by paying overtime and shipping workers in and out, according to data from the Permian Strategic Partnership alliance of 19 energy companies."
This is the opportunity of his lifetime for Johnny Vega, but he cannot maximize it because he was breaking the law for years.
He is not alone in reaping what he sowed.
Reuters said, "Two companies in Hobbs, the largest city in Lea County, were recently audited: Mesa Well Services and paving contractor Ramirez and Sons, according to a person with knowledge of the situation and a Ramirez & Sons official.
"Mesa Well officials were not available for comment. Ramirez and Sons Senior Superintendent David Gallegos said the company was paying around $40,000 in legal fees to apply for work permits or U.S. citizenship on behalf of five of the employees laid off after the audit."
I love it when people get what they deserve. Reuters headlined its piece, "'Broken system' starves U.S. oil boom of immigrant workers."
The system was broken. President Trump fixed it. He lost New Mexico in 2016 by 8 points.
But his re-election plan of shutting down illegal border jumping and consequently raising the wages of American workers may flip New Mexico next year.
Don Surber at 10/15/2019 10:00:00 AM