From Farmers brace for workforce shortage under Obama’s executive action on immigration in the Augusta Chronicle of December 28, 2014:
Farmers already scrambling to find workers in California – the nation’s leading grower of fruits, vegetables and nuts – fear an even greater labor shortage under President Obama’s executive action to block about 5 million people from deportation.
Thousands of the state’s farmworkers, who make up a significant portion of those who will benefit, might choose to leave the uncertainty of their seasonal jobs for steady work building homes, cooking in restaurants and cleaning hotel rooms.
This article illustrates the hypocrisy of US immigration policy. Whole industries depend on cheap labor, and we deprive those laborers of a legal status so their employers can exploit them.
Let’s just be honest. If we want cheap fruit & vegetables, $0.50 chicken pieces, clean office buildings, manicured landscaping and construction workers on demand, then we have to have immigrants willing to do these tasks. Now the only question is whether we want them to have enough rights to be able to approach the police when landlords, employers and criminals exploit them.
We have a North American Free Trade Agreement which gives the Jalisco tomato and Iowan wheat more rights to cross borders than Mexicans.
If you believe in free markets for products, shouldn’t you believe in free markets for labor?
Image from horror movie “Children of the Corn.”
July 23, 2016 – Nick Kristof’s column in the New York Times of July 16 “We’re Helping to Deport Kids to Die”
Update: Sign petition urging President Obama to stop detaining children.
I like horror movies, but some, for no reason which I can discern, give me the heebie-jeebies. Stephen King‘s 1984 movie Children of the Corn was one of those. So I guess I can understand why my hometown newspaper’s editorial page was freaking out about the children of brown people from Mexico, Central and South America trying to reunite with their parents now living and working in the United States. Many of those parents used to actually grow corn, until NAFTA made it possible for US agrobusiness to dump its subsidized corn into their markets and make subsistence agriculture impossible. Continue reading
Show Immigrants Gratitude
This is a letter of mine which my local daily newspaper, The Augusta Chronicle, published in January 2013.
The Labor Forum is a weekly program produced and broadcasted by WRFG, a community radio station in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. If you miss the live broadcasts in Atlanta or streaming online, its latest episodes are podcasted. You can read show descriptions there. In addition, it has a Facebook page. Continue reading
Commander: O Mujahid! Listen closely while I instruct you how to infiltrate the United States of America in preparation for a future operation. Pay a coyote approximately 2,500 USD to help you cross the border from Mexico. Read a supplication prior to this journey, because many people die…
Leaks from the Al-Qaida USA Infiltration Guide: Tactic: Work for Years as Migrant Farm Laborer
Current immigration law makes it difficult for people who reside in the United States without legal status to get permanent residency or a work permit. Undocumentable workers are subject to exploitation by their employers, discriminatory state laws and administrative practices and exposure to criminal violence due to a fear of interaction with the police and criminal justice system.
Even those with permanent residency can be subject to removal proceedings if they are convicted of crimes for which US citizens are regularly given little or no punishment.
Removal proceedings separate family members, place people in inhumane detention facilities and uproot productive workers to countries which they have hardly known. Undocumentable workers are indispensable in agriculture, food processing construction, domestic and custodial services and hospitality. If they were allowed to participate fully in society, they could contribute in all fields just like citizens.
It is hypocritical for citizens to enjoy the benefits of a person’s labor and deny that person the basic human rights of security. Whether you arrive at a clean office building or purchase tomatoes and onions at your grocery store or enjoy dinner at a restaurant, you’re very likely benefiting from an undocumented worker. Have the decency to urge politicians to end the current suite of unjust state and federal laws and administrative practices which prevent that worker from enjoying the protection of law. Let God’s commandment to do good for your neighbor extend to all those who make your life easier, whether you know their names or not.