Star Tribune

For businesses such as construction, landscaping, agriculture, hospitality, meat processing and food services, hiring immigrants has become a matter of course. But with strenuous opposition to “amnesty” for the 12 million undocumented people already in the U.S. (an estimated 100,000 in Utah) stalling federal immigration reform or other reforms that might create a guest-worker program, Swift’s labor problems are now widely shared by others.

“It’s now much bigger than a meat-processing issue,” said James Mintert, professor of agriculture economics at Kansas State University.

And if the Swift raids exposed the meatpacking industry’s practice of hiring low-wage immigrants who used stolen or fake IDs to get jobs they could not have gotten legally, the aftermath also has raised plenty of questions about immigrant labor in Utah - and there appear to be few answers. Normally, business interests in Utah and nationally are politically powerful, but in the case of immigration-reform legislation they backed in Congress this year, they’ve found themselves overwhelmed. Utah’s senators received perhaps 100 calls in opposition for every 10 in favor of the immigration-reform bill that failed to pass the Senate in June, said Clark Ivory, CEO of Ivory Homes, the state’s largest home builder.

“The reason that immigration reform has failed is that extreme elements are stirring the pots of hatred. [They] are anti-Hispanic, very vocal and very vindictive with these politicians,” Ivory said. “A moderate, thoughtful and quiet voice that comes from business is not heard over that extreme voice that comes from the far right wing.”

The business community wants to abide by the law, and it wants the nation to control its borders, he said. But that community also wants reform that provides an adequate skilled and unskilled work force, which has been a constant challenge in recent years.

In the past two decades, Utah’s economy has gone through changes that have created a greater need for more low-skilled workers than a native-born population could or would want to fill, said Pamela Perlich of the Bureau of Economic and Business Research at the University of Utah.

During that span, Utah saw a huge boom in commercial and residential construction - projects such as the LDS Church conference center, facilities for the 2002 Winter Olympics and the rebuilding of Interstate 15 and construction of TRAX light rail.

In addition, a demographic shift to a higher percentage of workers with four-year college degrees (10.2 percent in 1960, compared with 26.1 percent in 2000) meant more Utah-born workers landed higher-paying jobs.

“As more of our native-born population moves up the ladder, we still continue to have demand for people in tortilla factories or meatpacking plants or people to clean buildings or make beds in hotels,” Perlich argues.

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7 Responses to “CEO of Utah’s Ivory Homes Calls Those Who Want Immigration Enforcement Extremists ‘Stirring The Pots Of Hate’”
  1. Faye says:

    To have been considered just plain old everyday American all my life, it sure is strange to be considered “extreme right wing” in my old age.

  2. K2 says:

    ?A moderate, thoughtful and quiet voice that comes from business is not heard over that extreme voice that comes from the far right wing.?- Oh yes. The Chamber of Commerce is moderate, thoughtful and and quiet, is totally powerless and without influence due to the hate mongering of those extremist bullies. Once again, Newspeak is employed in the article… Nobody has a problem with immigrants being hired. Not a single one. The salient point is, of course, illegal aliens. The SPLC, ADL and The Race are pushing to ensure that newspeak is enforced, but immigrants emigrate, which involves applications and process. If they had emigrated, they wouldn’t be “undocumented”. Gate crashing is not emigrating. No more than a burglar in your home is an “undocumented tenant”.

  3. HellDogger says:

    They dirty little secret is that slave labor does not equal lower prices. The scumbag robberbaron charges all he can get. Name one product, service, project, etc. that has either been shipped overseas or is now done by slave foriegn labor where the quality went up and the price went down. THERE ARE NONE!!! They fail to mention part of the reason for the housing bust is that we the people cannot afford these highpriced/low quality homes. Fact is, the jobs that have been created(car washes/fast food/used car sales,etc) just won’t pay for $2,000,000 worth card board trash thrown up by Miguel & Co.

  4. stoney says:

    Article is so full of BS it should only be in a cow pasture.
    Regardless of what so called business leaders say it is still only justification of slave labor they are after.
    ILLEGAL means outside the law, nothing they say or do can change the meaning. If USA citizens who have followed the law and object when some one is breaking it is considered extremist so be it.
    That still is no excuse to allow lawbreaking to continue just because some one feels they are wrong.

  5. BEADALONG says:

    Yea, we’re extremist because we object to our laws being broken?…
    What makes them think they’re above the laws?

    To quote someone else: “If you can’t do business legally, you have NO business doing business.”

    Did anyone notice when linking onto the rest of the story that it has 2 versions: English and Spanish and the Spanish link has a Mexican flag.

    So, here we have businesses who have run completely amuck and think they’ve above our laws. END THE CORPORATE PERSONHOOD LAW! I’m sick/tired of their abuse!

  6. litew8 says:

    This is total bull crap.
    These people have the nerve to create the pallet of illegality and then when it is noticed and attempted to be corrected - they accuse people in opposition to be hate mongers. What is happening in our country - the people and companies encouraging the lawlessnes within our country are trying to come across as the good people - any in opposition to their fake, illegal pallet is considered the bad person. Nothing could be further from the truth. And they know this. They also know that the states (individually) and starting to crack down - this is unacceptable to them, so they are now resorting to labeling people - to try and enject fear against those wanting the laws upheld.

  7. litew8 says:

    Most likely, the companies in question should have gone out of business a LONG TIME AGO.

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