Business groups in Iowa want more immigrants to end the claimed “labor shortage” pressuring them to raise Americans’ wages and invest in high-tech, productivity-boosting machinery.
“We tell the government all the time, we need more workers, this is where we need them,” Garrett Dolan, a senior manager at Tysons Foods, told Bloomberg.com for an August 17 article.
Just one-in-ten Iowa workers is an immigrant, versus one in five nationwide, so Iowa employers are being pressured to offer higher wages to keep their workforces, according to the report:
Hiring difficulties in Iowa have forced companies in labor-intensive manufacturing and processing industries to adapt. Auto-parts and accessories manufacturer Dee Zee has raised its base pay to increase its workforce of 1,000. It currently has roughly 60 openings. “We’re really having a focused HR campaign due to our shortage of workers,” says Kerri Minor, human resources director at Dee Zee, which has seven manufacturing facilities across the state.
The state’s tight labor market is also pressuring the state’s slaughterhouse companies to invest in machines that allow fewer workers to cut more carcasses and pack more meat every hour. In March, Chetan Kapoor, head of automation at Tyson Foods, told Just-Food.com:
We’re very focused on taking out anything that is hazardous to humans. Bone saws are very typically used to cut big slabs of meat. Automating that fully with a robotics system, with computer vision is a top priority for us. We are already deploying them and, in fact, we had to invent our own machine because we could not buy machines on the commercial market that would fit into our process.
Then we are finding there are certain jobs, like de-boning chicken and some of the cuts that a human has to make, are extremely taxing on the fingers. Automating that through robotics is a high priority.
“To use technology, you generally have a higher pay grade to do that, so as we transition to a more modern workforce, technology allows us to pay more,” Kapoor said.
Productivity gains and wage increases are good news in Iowa, where wages are amongst the lowest in the nation, reported SiouxlandProud.com: “Iowa ranked near the bottom of the nation in terms of pay growth over the past year. In fact, the state ranked 47th, sharing the spot with Arkansas, Indiana and New Jersey.”
Iowa workers are glad for the extra pay — and they understand the economic threat to their families that is posed by more migrants. A recent poll on immigration — taken during the run-up to the GOP’s Iowa primary — show the public’s opposition to wage-cutting migration:
(@JLPartnersPolls – Iowa Republicans) Do you support reducing/maintaining current numbers/increasing legal immigration?
All Republicans: 63/25/11
Trump supporters: 73/22/5
DeSantis supporters: 62/27/11
Scott supporters: 54/35/10
— Ryan James Girdusky (@RyanGirdusky) August 15, 2023
So GOP politicians are carefully zig-zagging between the influential business donors and the voters who are getting more pay. Bloomberg reported the poll-tested equivocation:
State Senator Mike Bousselot, a Republican in Polk County, hits both notes when asked if immigration reform is needed to address the hiring squeeze. “First and foremost we need to secure our border,” he says. “Beyond that we need to make sure we have a pathway for people to legally immigrate and that we’re bringing great people into this country to go fill jobs.”
Some Iowa GOP politicians say they favor state-run curbs on illegal migration. Bloomberg.com reported:
Senator Julian Garrett of Warren County sponsored a bill that would mandate the use of E-Verify, a platform that allows employers to check documents provided by new hires to confirm they’re authorized to work in the US. The plan reflects the national GOP’s priority of cracking down on illegal immigration and mirrors a similar law that recently came into effect in Florida.
The polls also help to explain why Midwest GOP Senators blocked a Democratic plan in Congress to import many more foreign workers for white-collar careers on the plains.
Moreover, calls by Iowa employers for more migrants in Iowa would require a massive inflow of migrants nationwide.
For example, for each migrant who settled in Iowa, nine settled in Illinois, 22 settled in New York, and 52 settled in California. migrants, according to data provided by the American Immigration Council. Given those ratios, Congress would need to import 500,000 migrants nationwide just to add roughly 5,000 workers in Iowa.
Since 2021, President Joe Biden has already imported at least six million migrants for economic purposes in less than three years. That strategy has helped investors by inflating real estate prices and reducing Americans’ wages. But Biden’s flood minimizes outside investment in the heartland state. such as Iowa. Instead of visiting Iowa to discuss new investments with local bankers and partners, coastal investors can now fill up their coastal job openings by sending a minivan to fetch Biden’s migrants at their downtown bus stations.
Iowa’s migration politics are replayed in neighboring Nebraska.
In early August, Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Ne), told a Nebraska Chamber of Commerce meeting that demands for more migrant workers are stuck until the GOP can fix the border, the Omaha World-Herald reported on August 8:
Nebraska’s senior senator said she supports a “step by step by step” approach and thinks the Senate could get something done that way. But she said one side insists on comprehensive reform, while she believes the first step must be to secure the border. “Until we get that, it’s going to be difficult to bring the sides together,” Fischer said. “As we stand now, I don’t see that happening.”
Rep. Don Bacon, who represents the Omaha-based 2nd District, is backing a proposal to recycle unused visa allocations from previous years and add them to current allocations. And he supports another plan to streamline the process for approving seasonal worker visas, typically for agricultural workers.
Meanwhile, Nebraska’s after-inflation wages grew by roughly 1 percent in 2022. Nebraska “employees have increasingly left their existing job in pursuit of employment elsewhere,” the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City reported in January 2023.
The federal government has long operated an unpopular economic policy of Extraction Migration. This colonialism-like policy extracts vast amounts of human resources from needy countries, reduces beneficial trade, and uses the imported workers, renters, and consumers to grow Wall Street and the economy.
The migrant inflow has successfully forced down Americans’ wages and also boosted rents and housing prices. The inflow has also pushed many native-born Americans out of careers in a wide variety of business sectors and contributed to the rising death rate of poor Americans.
The population inflow also reduces the political clout of native-born Americans, because the population replacement allows elites and the establishment to divorce themselves from the needs and interests of ordinary Americans.
In many speeches, border chief Alejandro Mayorkas says he is building a mass migration system to deliver workers to wealthy employers and investors and “equity” to poor foreigners. The nation’s border laws are subordinate to elite opinion about “the values of our country” Mayorkas claims.
Migration — and especially, labor migration — is unpopular among swing voters. A 54 percent majority of Americans say Biden is allowing a southern border invasion, according to an August 2022 poll commissioned by the left-of-center National Public Radio (NPR). The 54 percent “Invasion” majority included 76 percent of Republicans, 46 percent of independents, and even 40 percent of Democrats.