Unfortunately, this is a relative statement. A room where? In a safe and luxurious part of town I hope. It certainly wouldn’t be moral to pay someone any less than being able to afford a really really expensive apartment. Same with food, too. I don’t want store brand. I want to be paid so the “food” that the minimum wage is covering should at least be from Whole Foods.
There’s a reason why they are coming here. There are factors driving them to leave their families and work how they do. If there were better opportunities for them, they would take it gladly.
Illegal immigrants actually have the highest negotiating power. They don’t have to be offered minimum wage, benefits, OT, etc. As a citizen, I would have to work for a minimum of $7.25/hour. An illegal immigrant could work for $5 or $6.20 or $7.25. Who would higher me to pick fruit at $7.25/hour when a migrant worker will do the same job (probably even better ) for $5/hour?
If there was no minimum wage, a citizen could compete with illegal labor. Most citizens who work on farms are poor, young, or low skilled. They need job experience and money. Unfortunately, the government prices them out of the job market by mandating them to be paid a relative amount (just happens to be $7.25 at this moment, federally).
The main argument for a minimum wage is emotional. Of course, no one wants people to be losing limbs in farm equipment or acting as a canary for the canary in the mine. But logically, a minimum wage hurts the people it was designed to help.