The self-proclaimed "tea party candidate" for governor, Gordon Howie, just released a diatribe against illegal immigration. I’ve pasted his news release below.
Howie: Illegal Immigrants Stealing South Dakota Jobs
RAPID CITY, S.D. – Illegals are stealing jobs from South Dakotans and creating a burden on South Dakota taxpayers. Gubernatorial candidate Gordon Howie says the facts are clear: in ONE YEAR over 8,000 lost jobs, personal incomes declining at twice the national average, a 34% increase in food stamp recipients, and the lowest average hourly rate wage in the nation.
Illegal immigrants are getting free medical care at the expense of taxpayers and keeping wages low in South Dakota.
Other candidates are saying there is no illegal immigration problem in South Dakota.
Gordon Howie sees this for what it is; a very real and growing problem. "I have been on construction sites where the crew does not even speak English. Anyone who thinks we don’t have a problem is just not paying attention."
Howie says illegal immigration is still a problem deserving increased vigilance in South Dakota. The people of Huron agree. The farming community of 12,000 in east central South Dakota has witnessed four murders in the past year involving illegal immigrants, according to sources inside the Beadle County Sheriff’s Office. They also say increases in drug related crime and other violent offenses have placed a disproportionate burden on local law enforcement and eroded a small town sense of safety residents once took for granted.
"Here in Huron, we take pride in a small town quality of life that you just can’t find in a big city," said one citizen who wished to remain anonymous. To have these sorts of problems with people being killed or hurt, and all the related economic and social costs just makes a guy angry."
Howie says the statistically proven increase in crime accompanying an influx of illegal immigrants is unacceptable. In 2008, four children were killed when an illegal immigrant driving drunk ran a stop sign near Cottonwood, ramming her car into their school bus. The surviving children still suffer from their injuries.
"Having even one South Dakotan become a victim of crime at the hands of an illegal immigrant is one too many," Howie said. "Those are crimes that couldn’t have happened without the crime of entering this country uninvited. We do a better job tracking and locating imported Canadian cattle than we do of finding and deporting illegal immigrants, and that’s not saying much. As governor, I’ll change that and make our state a safer place."
In a year when nearly 9,000 South Dakotans lost jobs and thousands more are employed in positions that don’t pay enough, Howie recognizes the sheer economic necessity of allowing legal residents to compete in a job market where companies don’t have the hidden advantage of hiring illegal workers and undercutting wages.
"South Dakota jobs and South Dakota dollars are being siphoned away from hard working people in our own state that are willing and ready to work," Howie said. "Those losses have an incredible impact on our unemployment rate and on the social programs paid for by hard earned tax dollars," Howie said.
Other sources, afraid of a backlash that could jeopardize their livelihoods, say a pervasive use of undocumented labor is common knowledge inside the dairy, meatpacking and construction industries in South Dakota. A hay delivery driver also wishing to protect his anonymity says multiple van loads of illegal immigrants are brought into South Dakota every month, given counterfeit identification to cement their work status and frequently swapped between a network of farms and other work sites to avoid detection.
"It’s just a foregone conclusion that this is the way things are done," the driver said. "Businesses bring these people across the border, specifically to employ them work at a fraction of what they would pay a legal employee and then circulate them from one place to another so they don’t get caught."
Despite an accompanying liberal backlash against the Arizona crackdown, Howie says it’s yet another case of a state governor working hard to solve a problem ignored, neglected and even encouraged by federal policies. While other candidates suggest the Arizona law promotes racial profiling, Howie disagrees.
"It is not racist or radical to expect our communities to be safe from violent criminals who enter the country illegally," Howie said. "As governor, I pledge to toughen South Dakota’s response to the problem of illegal immigration. The first step is to acknowledge that a problem exists."