Friday, November 04, 2022

Dead former mayors and migrant farm workers

I was visiting with someone yesterday when the topic of the town's previous mayor came up on the occasion of his transformation into a good politician. The guy's funeral was underway at that moment.

I disliked the guy because he was a politician. He was an authoritarian who I wrote against a time or two before I gave up on trying to write for the small weekly paper here in town.

The person I was visiting with didn't even think about the actual authoritarianism of the guy. No, his complaint was that this mayor had "allowed" someone to house "illegals" [sic] in town.

A farmer owns a house in town and he lets the workers who need a place to live stay in it while they work for him for a month or so a couple of times each year. Seems perfectly consensual to me. Where's the problem?

Of course, there is no evidence the fellows who stay in the house in question are "illegal" [sic]; they are simply migrant agricultural workers from Mexico. Why assume they are breaking even a counterfeit "immigration law"? But this is the assumption many people here make. I am nearly alone in not caring about it at all. As long as you don't violate any individual's life, liberty, or property that's what matters to me.

As far as I can tell, they never cause trouble. There is no crime wave in town while they are here to work. The guys are friendly and wave and say "Hi" when I walk past. It would never occur to me to inquire as to what government permissions they have to be here. 

Some people based their complaint on the fact that several adult men stay in the house-- it's not a "family unit". The formerly living former mayor said there was no law requiring a landlord to only rent to a family unit, which angered the borderists in town. They wanted him to "do something" about it. They were just looking for any "legal" means to stop the property owner from using his property and from hiring people willing to work for him. They wanted more socialism. In that case, the mayor said "No".

Even a politician I dislike can sometimes do the right thing and stay out of people's business.

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