While commenting, I posed the notion that we could put the prisoners to work doing the jobs illegals do.
Obviously this will not work for all prisoners or all jobs. Why is it though that we can't put the vast majority of prisoners who are a lower risk for danger to work picking vegetables, mowing lawns, packing chickens?
If you look at the issue of illegal workers a little deeper it is more complex than we give credit to.
They are here because there is a market for them.
Farmers cannot pay someone $7 or $8/an hour to pick fruit. How does $8 for a watermelon sound? Or $10 for 5 pounds of potatoes? $7.50 for a loaf of bread?
Reality is illegal immigrants keep our costs down. This is not to say I support or tolerate illegal immigration but it is not a fact we can ignore. Farmers have to meet costs and make a profit. If they start paying minimum wage to all of their field hands our food prices go through the roof.
Why not have prisoners do this work?
Let the businesses or farmers pay a sub-wage, to the prison system.
-We help keep costs down and let the farmers stay profitable and in business.
-Our prison systems get some cash reimbursement for the upkeep of prisoners.
-The prisoners learn to support themselves. The left pushes rehabilitation of prisoners. What better skill can we teach them than working for a living?
-There may be a chance the prisoners could learn a skill and perhaps get a job after release.
-It will keep the prisoners busy. I think one of the causes of unrest in prisons is idle time. Make them too tired to cause trouble.
-Most importantly, no jobs for the illegals. While I am a fan of border security, I have always thought that illegal immigration is a free market issue. The illegals come to the US for one simple reason, they can get a job. If we cut off the job market, and a free ride from governmental programs (food stamps, etc), they have no choice but to go home.
This is not a perfect plan. There are obvious issues with it such as security, etc. But are they really an issue?
What is the worst we will be doing, putting criminals out on the streets to work? We will have drug dealers, drunk drivers, rapists, etc picking fruit. Sound familiar?