Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Unemployment and Illegal Immigrants....wanderings of my thoughts.

Have you heard about this little immigration issue (argument, problem...whatever you want to call it) we have in our country? Maybe you've heard some rumblings going on down in Arizona? Have you heard about that law passed that would increase enforcement of the deportation of illegal immigrants? I know, I's old news. But I'm not writing this post to argue about illegal immigration...really. It's a hot button issue and I'm sure there is someone out there who could begin a great discussion with me about the error of Arizona's ways. No, instead today I'm writing about unemployment.

The topic of illegal immigrants and their deportation came up in a conversation I was having with DR the other day. Honestly, I expected him to voice his support for the crackdown on illegals. He's a black and white kind of guy if you know what I mean. ("Follow the law!") But he surprised me.

DR's stance was this; if illegal immigrants are forced to return to their home country, wherever that may be, then who'll do the work? Yes, unemployment is high in this country but not everywhere. Here in our part of Kansas (as DR tells it) in some businesses there are too few workers for available jobs. Even he has had difficulty hiring qualified people at the grain elevator. In DR's case qualified applicants includes the ability to speak English. But there aren't tons of English speaking people knocking on his door to work at a grain elevator. If mass numbers of immigrants are deported and numerous jobs open up across this country, will people (unemployed US citizens) really move to where the jobs are?
DR's not so sure they would.

He got me thinking so I did a bit of research about unemployment in our country. According the the US Dept. of Labor last month Kansas has one of the lowest rates, about 7%, of unemployment in the country (North Dakota is the lowest) while Nevada has the highest jobless rate at 14%. But those rates don't necessarily reflect the available jobs that aren't being filled because there aren't qualified applicants. (I'm speculating a here; I haven't found any reports on it.)
It is over 1,200 miles from Las Vegas, Nevada to Wichita, Kansas and over 1,300 miles from Las Vegas to Bismarck, North Dakota. If those are the states where the jobs are, like DR suggests, that's a long way to pick up and move your family to find employment...if you are qualified.

My question is this...How far would you move for a job? And what would it take for you to pick up your family and move over 1,000 miles? If you were unemployed would you move out of state, away from family, for a job, any job, if the opportunity presented itself? Why or why not?
See, I don't think I have an objective view of this because I've lived in 5 states in 7 years. Moving for DR's job just doesn't bother me anymore but that is probably because we are fairly stable in our finances. Would I be so willing to pick up and move out of state if we were living paycheck to paycheck? Would I be as willing to move away from my family, who are all in Indiana, if I didn't have the ability to go visit?


  1. As a kid growing family moved a total of 5 times (I loved it!)...unlike my husband who has been living in the same county his whole life...other than college. The only way we would move is if farming went away and we had been searching for jobs for 6+ months with little to no hope of finding a job in our area!

  2. I've actually thought about writing a post about this topic lately because of my recent daily visits with the border patrol. Not immigration specifically, but drug trafficking.

    I've changed my mind recently on immigration, or rather amnesty. I think you bring up a great topic as to whether or not Americans are willing to relocate to find employment. It reminds me of the dust bowl and depression when migrations of oklahomans headed to California to find work. Now that we have such a large welfare and unemployment system, it seems less likely for americans to do that.

    I'd rather give our jobs to immigrants -prefearbly legal - who actually live in this country, than to those living in asia. I think we have to keep in mind that it is still possible to immigrate legally. I have many friends in this area who just got here from Mexico. it is possible.

  3. Interesting topic! I can't imagine leaving the Twin Cities area of MN, away from family and friends. I think the only thing that would make me move that far would be if we were in desperate need, and the job offered paid A LOT, otherwise we make due here. So, no, we wouldn't move a thousand miles away for a low-pay job. We'd most likely move in with family if we needed to.

  4. I think I have some of the same thoughts as DR. There's this guy I know, let's call him, ERF. He works at a foundry and most of the guys he works with are foreign. Most Americans that hire into that job end up quiting because they say the work is too hard. Evidently they are not worried about having a paycheck that bad. I also think that if all the illegals were told to leave the country, that most of the Americans here that were unemployed wouldn't be too eager to fulfill these jobs because of the physical work.


I'd love to hear what you have to say! I try to reply to every one of them.

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