Sunday, November 25, 2007

Immigration and Unemployed Blacks

In September 2006, after multiple raids by federal immigration agents, Crider Inc., a Chicken-processing factory in Stillmore, Georgia, lost three-fourths of its 900-member workforce, most of whom were Hispanic illegal immigrants. To find new workers, plant owners raised wages by more than a dollar per hour and offered free transportation from nearby towns. Within weeks, Crider had hired roughly 200 local African Americans from the area's state-funded employment office to fill some of the vacancies. It was the first time since the late 1990s, when Hispanics started moving to Stillmore in large numbers, that the plant's productions line were manned mainly by blacks.

Thus begins an article on the connection being explored by a UChi professor between immmigration - both legal and illegal - and African American employment.

Although the introduction sounds like the basis of a Tancredo like argument about controlling our borders, you will see that the Chicago professor, Jeffrey Grogger, uses this example as all the more reason "to think about skill acquisition as a means to improve the labor-market position of African Americans in light of the immigraton we see."

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