Our VoiceImmigration

Roy Beck, Dairyman


Rev. David L. Ostendorf • Aug 17, 2009

The ever-media-starved Roy Beck of NumbersUSA and The John Tanton Network hoisted on his pristine, virtual coveralls recently and pontificated on the growing number of immigrants whose collective hard labor puts milk on our tables every day.

Roy — who likely doesn’t know a Holstein from a Jersey, or a milk parlor from a Beltway parlor — ranted as usual about immigrants siphoning  jobs on dairy farms during “… a time when we know it’s possible to find Americans to do this work.”

Roy definitely needs to get out of the Beltway more often.

The nation’s dairy farms are increasingly reliant on immigrant labor to do the hard work that, as most any farmer will tell you, Americans won’t do. Upwards of forty percent of the dairy workforce is comprised of immigrant workers, now responsible for two-thirds of the country’s milk production. As dairy farmer Ray Souza states in the same Wall Street Journal article citing Beck, “Once Americans get the job description, they lose interest real quick.”

The gulf between the squeaky-clean milk container in the store and the gritty production cycle at the other end seems to be quite obvious to everyone but Beck, and FAIR’s Dan Stein, and all the other DC anti-immigrant dilettantes and their minions.

Work on a dairy farm? You’ve got to be kidding.

Roy, however, asserts that “If you had the right recruiting, pay and working conditions, you could handle this with Americans.” As has been suggested here previously, we would welcome Beck and Stein taking up leadership, and loading up the buses in Detroit or Janesville, or any community with high unemployment, in order to trek those workers out into the countryside for dairy farm jobs.

Surely those two would know how to recruit, given their capacity to turn out vocal anti-immigrant crowds.

They could raise the necessary funds to pay for the busses by, yet again, soliciting their friends at the white supremacist Pioneer Fund. And surely they could negotiate good pay and fine working conditions that would benefit both the recruits and the dairy farmers, who are facing some of the most wrenching economic conditions in years.

Take it away, guys. Let’s see how that goes.

But even Beck the Dairyman seems to have been struck momentarily by a flash of perspective (or hunger and thirst) as he wrapped up his “American jobs/American workers” musings in the Journal. In the long term, he states, “we are going to need a foreign-guest worker program geared toward agriculture.” Astounding!? Now, perhaps, even NumbersUSA will testify and rally its troops in support of AgJobs! We can hardly wait to see him and Stein at the Congressional AgJob hearings, dancing the fine line between jobs worthy of “Americans” and those that can be allocated to immigrants.

Better stick to your own field of expertise, Roy—anti-immigrant demagoguery. Let the farmers, the cows, and the diary workers provide the milk, minus the beltway bull.

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