Friday, March 31, 2006

Why didn't we think of that?

Take down that “Help Wanted” sign and stock up on uniforms for new hires. The leading minds in our industry couldn’t manage it. But a U.S. Representative from California has resolved the labor shortage.

If you’re having trouble drawing sufficient employees, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher publicly commented yesterday, all you have to do is be more creative in your recruitment efforts.

Makes you go all weepy with relief, doesn’t it?

But the congressman didn’t stop there. He even offered an illustration of what he means about being inventive. If there truly are jobs that Americans won’t take, like picking fruit, then have prisoners do it as part of the payback for their crimes, the conservative Republican asserted.

You may need to let that sink in a bit, so here it is again, in his widely quoted exact words: “Let the prisoners pick the fruit,” Rohrabacher said. “We can do it without bringing in millions of foreigners.”

That’s why, he said, there’s no need to allow more immigrants into the country, a step the restaurant industry avidly wants the government to take. It’s pushing for a provision in the immigration bills currently before Congress that would allow foreigners to come and work in the United States temporarily, on a so-called guest-worker visa.

The trade also favors the development of programs for turning illegal immigrants into legal ones. The notion probably throws Rohrabacher into the sort of fit we’ve not seen since “Network” left the movie theaters.

Rohrabacher’s opposition to matching unfilled jobs with candidates eager to fill them is especially perplexing given his heritage. You so seldom see Native Americans with that surname.

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