Want to Start an Unskilled Labor-Intensive Business Right Now? No, You Don't

Thank goodness our government is suddenly obsessed with dealing with America's plague of illegal aliens. There is clearly nothing more important right now than making sure we prevent people who happen to have born in other countries from doing jobs people who happen to have been born here don't want.

But this all-important crackdown doesn't exactly make you want to run out and start a labor-intensive business, does it? Certainly not if you're up to speed on the heart-warming situation at New York grocery delivery company, Fresh Direct.

Last week, federal immigration officials notified Fresh Direct that they were launching an investigation of the company's workers. Fresh Direct told its workers about the investigation -- and, not surprisingly, dozens of the workers ran for the doors. Meanwhile, the workers had been discussing the possibility of unionizing. So now the Teamsters union is accusing Fresh Direct of trying to bust the proto-union by terrorizing employees about the federal investigation.

Any good news here?

Not much.

No matter what happens, Fresh Direct loses good workers, the workers lose jobs, and Fresh Direct's costs (and, therefore, prices) go up, hurting customers. Fresh Direct's remaining employees presumably get a raise at some point, and maybe better benefits, but only by forcing the company to fire human beings who were willingly doing the same jobs for less.

If Fresh Direct is/was paying its document-challenged employees slave wages, fine. If Fresh Direct is/was making a piggish profit and intentionally employing only people who have no legal standing on which to complain, fine. If, however, Fresh Direct is/was simply providing employment opportunities to people who chose to take them, they don't deserve what they're getting. It's time companies like Fresh Direct stopped getting blamed for the fact that citizens of other countries want to do jobs that people who were born here don't.