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Telling what pops out of Republican's mouths when they take their eyes off the talking points: 47% of Americans are free-loaders, rape can be "legitimate" and yet result in a precious gift from God, "blah people" ruin welfare for the rest of us...

It's no surprise, then, that behind the boilerplate about border security, rule of law, and terrorism lurks a not so hidden concern to protect the economic interests of agribusiness and other industries that reap profit from the sweat of undocumented workers. Even when these employers are not so unscrupulous that they steal wages or run debt peonage rackets, intimidation, abuse, and unsafe work environments remain rife. Of course, the profiteering trickles up the food chain, to the restaurant industry that rips off its own workers in addition to those responsible for producing cheap produce and meat.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte has represented Virginia's 6th district in Congress since 1993, is currently Vice Chair of the Agriculture committee, and has a history of work as an immigration lawyer. He is seen as one of the House Republican leaders in formulating a response to Obama's proposals on immigration reform. So what is the honorable gentleman's take on the risks of legalizing the status of undocumented workers?

You're going to have to have a program that assures those farms and those processing plants that there will be workers," he says. "Because if you give them legal status, they can work anywhere in the United States — they're not going to necessarily work at the hardest, toughest, dirtiest jobs.
So, if we remove a major weapon in the intimidation game (the threat of deportation), folks might take a notion to shove the dirty, un/underpaid, dangerous work and take their chances in the free labor market (crappy though that might be). They might get rabbit in their blood. After all, when Georgia experimented with making conditions even worse than they already were, crops rotted in the fields as workers voted with their feet. If we want to keep 'em in the fields where they belong, we need that bludgeon, that threat of deportation, that threat to tear up families, that threat to squash the hope for a better future.

Oh, and what does Goodlatte think of Pres. Obama's advocacy for reform?

I think the president should calm down, back off and let the Congress do its work
My. I guess he doesn't want Presidents getting uppity, either.
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