The Simple Choice in Iowa: Farmhands or Criminals?


As the border crisis continues to dominate the national conversation, it’s become clear that the true immigration debate is between patriots who wish to preserve their nation — and open borders advocates who would have us sacrifice American blood and treasure to increase corporate profits.

Writing in USA Today on Monday in response to comments President Donald Trump made about the country being “full,” former Democratic congressional candidate J.D. Scholten gets to the heart of the matter, insisting that “[i]f President Trump closes our borders because of a misguided belief that our nation is full, it will limit our economy and devastate my beloved heartland.”

Scholten’s basic argument is that his state, Iowa, has an economy that relies largely on farming, and that the farming sector relies largely on immigrant labor due to the state’s dwindling population. Oh, and he mentions the construction and manufacturing industries too (because it’s not just farms that thrive on a steady supply of cheap labor!). Unfortunately, Scholten’s argument isn’t unique to him or his Party — many Republicans take similar rhetorical routes, especially when promoting the expansion of legal immigration. Both parties have been reckless as a result of placing special interests over national interests.

But while it is true that certain economic sectors such as agriculture are at present dependent on immigrant labor (even though they currently don’t need to be), the argument is a classic bait-and-switch that is the main tactic of the pro-open-borders left.

The fact that certain local industries and economies in Iowa rely on immigrant labor has nothing to do with the question of whether we should allow illegal aliens to continue to flood our southern border unchecked and in ever-increasing numbers.

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It has nothing to do with whether or not the country at large has the economic and social infrastructure required to instantly absorb millions of foreigners — many of whom are undereducated and will end up collecting government benefits of one kind or another.

It has nothing to do with tackling the very real security threats posed by open borders. It has nothing to do with the issue of cheap foreign labor driving down wages for native workers.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it has nothing to do with the question of why many industries that once thrived without illegal or cheap immigrant labor suddenly risk vanishing without it.

In short, when faced with the shocking realities of the border crisis — the strain that mass illegal immigration puts on our nation’s resources, the economic consequences it has for native workers, and the crime and drugs it unleashes on our streets — fretting over who will harvest corn in Iowa is not a particularly persuasive counter-argument, unless of course one’s only concern is for the bottom line.

And indeed, upon further reflection, it’s also a rather offensive counter-argument. Whether it’s politicians writing fondly of immigrant agricultural workers or the late Anthony Bourdain praising illegal immigrant kitchen staff, the liberal message is fundamentally the same: we like having an underclass and we want to keep it.

There are great people all over the world. We can’t support them all locally, but we can make great trade agreements, such as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, that enhance the lives of all without destroying the sovereignty of any nation.

American workers understand that success is a product of hard work and personal sacrifice, but limousine liberals want others to do the hard work for them while they redistribute the nation’s wealth.

The New York Times jumped at the chance to remind Americans that “[a]n aging population and a declining birthrate among the native-born population mean a shrinking work force [sic] in many areas.”

But the declining birthrate among the native-born population is almost entirely the result of the American left and its flagship publications, such as The Times, spending the last six decades shredding the fabric of small-town America by promoting secularism, divorce, and the “have it all” childfree life. The logical solution to a declining birthrate isn’t to increase immigration, it’s to enact policies that promote a higher birthrate among native-born citizens, as sensible countries such as Poland and Hungary are already doing.

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Unfortunately, logic is in short supply among open borders advocates like Scholten, who will no doubt continue to speak of farmhands and dishwashers while American families face MS-13 and fentanyl. Of course, one of those illegal alien farmhands Scholten references is a young man named Cristhian Rivera, who abducted and murdered 20-year-old University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbets last year.

Concern for the future of rural America is laudable, and it’s a concern we should all share. But open borders advocates who would sacrifice our country’s safety and security for short term economic gain must answer a simple question: Is a bushel of Iowa corn — currently less than $3.50 in Iowa — worth the price of an Iowa girl’s life? Is it worth a lost dream due to overdose, a lost soul due to human trafficking, or a child killed by MS 13?

America and Iowa must decide where their priorities lie. President Trump already has.

Tana Goertz is an Iowa native and resident, an American business strategist, international keynote speaker, executive coach and author. 

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.

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