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Tyler: Immigration Good for Business; Helping Kids Good for Our Souls

Senator Larry Tidemann chided Rep. Susan Wismer yesterday for only talking about the bad side of the EB-5 scandal. In that spirit, I am happy to point out that, contrary to the examples of Chairman Tidemann and Governor Daugaard, some Pierre pols keep their eyes, their ears, and their hearts open.

Rep. kathy Tyler (D-4/Big Stone City) writes that immigration is actually good for South Dakota business:

Dairies and other work intensive ag businesses rely heavily on foreign workers. I received a letter from a local farmer during the past year. I learned a lot from it and will quote directly from it:

“We began employing foreign workers through the H-2A visa program in 2011. We had experienced increased difficulty in hiring capable local employees. We made the decision to try the H-2A program as a last resort before being forced to liquidate…….due to lack of labor…The program has provided excellent employees…" [Rep. Kathy Tyler, "Immigration of Children," Kathy's Corner, 2014.07.27].

Rep. Tyler then turns to the Latin American children currently entering our country under a Bush Administration anti-trafficking policy and asks where our hearts and minds are:

These children are fleeing for their lives. I cannot imagine a situation where sending my child away would mean that he or she might live. Let’s be thankful that we don’t need to make that choice. The issue is not settled, and looking at the way things go in Washington, it probably won’t be for a while. I think it’s time to open our hearts and our minds a bit. Remember, they are children [Tyler, 2014.07.27].

We could use more voices of calm, practical decency like Kathy Tyler's in Pierre.

p.s.: If we invited more immigrant children to our fair state, maybe Stickney and Corsica wouldn't have to consolidate.


  1. Tara Volesky 2014.07.30

    Ya, just talk to former Chief of Police Doug Schmidt who was fired for testifying at a legislative committee meeting about the illegal immigration problem in Huron. Most illegals come for jobs. They are being exploited with low wages. The corporations that hire illegals not the taxpayers should pay the of social costs to the communities.

  2. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.30

    Good reminder, Tara. Whether we're talking workers or children, our leaders appear interested only in exploiting immigrants.

  3. Tara Volesky 2014.07.30

    OMG, I didn't get trashed on this one.................Yet. Thanks Cory for being respectful.

  4. Jana 2014.07.30

    Just once I would like to hear an employer lamenting the lack of workers locally say:

    "I refuse to pay a living wage because I don't have to when I can import cheap labor and push the social costs on to my neighbors and the state's tax payers."

    But heck, who can blame them...whine enough and the good Governor D will spend millions with out of state employment firms and subsidize your search for employees willing to work cheap.

  5. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.07.30

    Excellent point Jana.

    I'd venture to say that there is no labor shortage in the USA. There is a shortage of employers willing to pay a decent wage.

    There are people who want to work so much that they take those pitiful jobs, several at once, so they can feed their children and keep a roof over their heads.

  6. Roger Cornelius 2014.07.30

    Jana and Deb,
    When I listen to the immigration debate, particularly the anti-immigration bunch, I always keep in mind what would happen if all the illegal immigrants in this country went on strike for a week, can you imagine the immediate economic it would have?
    Immigrant labor is the core of much of our economy, they do all the dirty work no else would do and business would be forced to pay a minimum or living wage.

  7. John 2014.07.30

    The children arriving in the US are not immigrants; they are refuges fleeing for their lives. We owe them comfort, care, and an education. Read Joe Klein, Time Magazine. And remember the words of Jesus, "I was hungry, and you asked for my papers."

  8. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.07.30

    Whoa John! This is perfect:

    And remember the words of Jesus, "I was hungry, and you asked for my papers."


  9. bearcreekbat 2014.07.31

    I agree with John. These kids deserve a more honest classification than "illegal" or "undocumented." They are just kids trying to survive.

  10. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.07.31

    Jordan, Turkey, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, etc., are a very short list of nations that continue to accept hundreds of thousands of refugees. They struggle to provide for the overwhelming number of people fleeing hardships and death. There is a refugee camp in Africa populated by more than half a million children and adults. Half a million!?!

    It's so embarrassing that here in the "exceptional" USA, we find protesters at our borders who want to turn away a few thousand child refugees.

    Shame on those protesters. Shame on local, state and national governmental types who are trying to chase those kids out. Such black-heartedness is appalling.

    If the No Refugees policy those meanies are advocating had a long term history here, this continent would be populated by people with dark skin, straight black hair and a confident nose. Amazing.

    One of the things the Aussies have going for them is the realization and acceptance of the knowledge that nearly all of the pale skinned ones descended from crooks and outlaws. More Americans of all colors need a dose of that kind of modesty and humility.

  11. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.07.31

    OMG! The only Minnesotan more embarrassing than Jesse Ventura is baaack! Well, her big mouth is. She really said this, really.

    "Rep. Michelle Bachmann has a new theory about the unaccompanied minors fleeing violence in Central America who have come in large numbers to the southern U.S. border: they are future victims of a liberal plot to use unwilling children for medical experiments."

  12. jerry 2014.07.31

    Deb, Michelle is Sibson's dream girl, the one he goes to night night dreaming of. Can you see the similarities between these two goofballs?

  13. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.07.31

    Yep. I sure can Jerry. One for Minn and one for SD. Aren't we both lucky.

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