A Better Path for Immigrants.

On Monday I was out in Plant City closing a solar deal and I pulled over to take a picture of these workers in a field:

Mexican / Honduran and Central American farm workers can be seen working out in strawberry fields all over eastern Hillsborough county.

These are the immigrants working on roofing, construction and landscaping crews all over Florida, doing the brutal and dangerous jobs in the hot sun that no one else wants to do.

In the last year there have been thousands of low level jobs all over the United States that have gone unfilled, at Tampa Bay Solar we pay $20 per hour (and UP) and we still have a hard time finding enough installers willing to stick it out and learn the job.

During the Trump administration there was a huge backlash against illegal immigration to this country. Many people were hunted down by federal authorities and deported back to their native country. In most cases these were folks with jobs and families, homeowners who paid taxes and had never been in any legal trouble…

We have jobs that are going unfilled because there are not enough low level workers OUT THERE.

BTW… immigrants are not TAKING jobs from Americans, they are filling the jobs that no one wants to do. If you have a harder work ethic than the next guy you deserve the job, the promotion, the raise, etc.

If 90% of employers are hiring we should cancel all unemployment benefits until this problem no longer exists.

Maybe if folks HAD to work to feed themselves they would be more willing to do so.

All of the people I personally know who live here (but were not born here) are productive citizens. My ex-wife came here from Taiwan, worked as a school teacher then realtor… now she’s in school to be an RN… she is also a homeowner and a taxpayer.

My best friend Marcus came here from England 30 years ago, and he’s started multiple franchises that employ hundreds of people.

Many of my solar clients came here from India, got Master’s degrees and now earn six figures in the IT and engineering field… and these guys live in $500,000 homes, pay taxes, drive nice cars, etc.

New Tampa would be much smaller without the dynamic Indian population who lives there.

There are entire housing subdivisions that would not exist without the Indian immigrant polulation here in Tampa. How many construction jobs does a 1,000 home subdivision create? How many Central American workers built those homes?

Because of my educational background I see the world through a macroeconomic viewpoint; the benefit of NEW immigrants bringing a hard work ethic to our shores far outweighs the cost of immigration in terms of crime or social service costs.

If you are willing to come to the United States, work hard, pay taxes and NOT commit a crime? They should let you stay.

Maybe for the first DECADE we disqualify any immigrant from taking a dime in unemployment, not until they’ve legally paid federal income taxes for 10 years.

NO federal benefits for any immigrant, not until they’ve paid into our tax rolls for at least 10 years.

If immigrants from Mexico are willing to work as farm workers and roofers and landscapers I say let them come and build a life here. Let them start a business, build a home, pay taxes, etc.

If they don’t work, or get arrested? Send them back to Mexico on the next flight.

My ancestors came here in the late 1800’s from Poland, Scotland, Ireland and France… they worked their ass off and built a life here. Maybe that first generation was a bit rough; they drank too much, got in fights at pubs, etc… but they also became small business owners, fought (and died) in our wars, and became a part of the ever growing American tapestry.

Native born Americans are having less children, and if we don’t accept MORE immigration into this country in the next 20 years we will have eventually have more retired people collecting social security than younger folks paying taxes into the system. This is happening right now in Japan and Russia, both countries are seeing a decline in population!

Countries that don’t have a vibrant younger generation driving the economy forward are going to stagnate and possibly face an economic collapse.

The United States has always represented a beacon of hope and opportunity to people all over the world. Let’s get a simple program that lets immigrants come here, become a part of our country, and help keep our country economically dynamic.

Ben Alexander

Jan 5 ::: 2022

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