Monday, July 28, 2008


TSA bad for tourism but good for farmers

by Larry Geller

Air travel is getting really inconvenient. It's bad enough to be put through TSA's demeaning, invasive and probably useless searches (I say "useless" because it seems that when they test the system, all kinds of stuff can get through). It's bad enough that you have to be afraid of having a name the same as someone on the infamous No Fly list, or that they make no secret that they engage in racial profiling.

But it really hurts to know that while they are checking through my belongings so carefully, any number of others have found they can easily get through TSA with their shoes on.

A July 22 Associated Press story reported the arrest in Waipahu of 33 undocumented ("illegal") farm workers:

Immigration and Customs special agent-in-charge Wayne Wills says it was the largest arrest in a single raid so far this year. He says all of the men worked for a business called the Farms.

Earlier immigration arrests included 22 restaurant workers on Maui and 19 construction workers in Honolulu.

Wills says the arrests are part of a crackdown on employers who use illegal immigrants.

I want to know where was TSA when all these folks arrived in Hawaii? Were they distracted by the smell of all the shoes they were processing?

Basically, why are they harassing innocent travelers while anyone who wants to get into Hawaii can do so easily?

Farm workers aren't my concern. If we hadn't forced NAFTA on their country, chances are they would have job opportunities there. Maybe a few of them would be able to afford holidays in Hawaii. No, I'm wondering why our government tells us Hawaii is safe, when they can't even keep non-threatening farm workers from arriving in large numbers.

Implications for transit project

Farmers said more places hire illegal immigrants than most people might think.

"There are probably more today then there were five years ago, and I mean it's because they're needed," says Dean Okimoto, Hawaii Farm Bureau.

Okimoto says many local farmers can't find workers to do the hard labor anymore - not at a wage they can afford.

"I need at least probably eight more, and I can't even find one," he says.

Many farmers feel forced to look elsewhere.

"It's not surprising at all because just to keep the farms going or to expand, it's really difficult," says Okimoto. "I do think immigrant workers are key to the agriculture industry. It's how it's survived all these years, even on the mainland." [, 7/22/2008]

Won't companies that land lucrative construction contracts for Mufi's heavy rail system find that they, too, need to look elsewhere for their labor needs? And who will clean the tracks and the stations?


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The key is the phrase “not at a wage they can afford.” So if your business plan is crummy, just break the law, eh?. I’m sick of all these people who complain they can’t get people to do certain jobs and don’t mention that it’s because they won’t pay what the labor is worth. I doubt that even if ag land was used strictly for ag and the price of the land went down to reflect it that these bosses would pay a living wage.

TSA DOES NOT screen people coming inbound to Hawaii. They only screen
people leaving Hawaii.

However, Immigration and Customs Enforcement screen people coming in Hawaii. So that begs the question did these illegals get by them ?

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