Friday, June 17, 2005

Wah wah wah

Short end of the pick
What does increased vigilance along the U.S.-Mexico border have to do with rotting Oregon strawberries?

A lot, say labor contractors in the Willamette Valley who are pleading with state officials to help recruit more workers to harvest the crop.

Traditional seasonal workers from south of the border have not shown up this year, said Daniel Quiñones, the migrant seasonal farmworkers representative from the Oregon Employment Department.
The employment department has an illegal alien representative?

"There's just not as many people," he said. "There's fear about crossing the border and insecurity because of the Minuteman Project."
It sounds like less people breaking the law is a bad thing according to our public servant here.

As of Wednesday, agents had made 844,300 arrests of people illegally entering the country from Mexico, said Mario Villarreal, spokesman for the Border Patrol in Washington, D.C. That figure is slightly above last year's apprehension numbers of 830,460.

Those who rely on Oregon's strawberry crop may understand that but are still angry about the impact.
I'm soooo angry...

Watching workers Wednesday in the middle of a 12-acre strawberry field near Monitor, independent labor contractor Arnulfo Sandoval Perez blasted the U.S. government's inability to craft a temporary-worker program.

He estimates that some strawberry farmers are losing $10,000 per day.
Why do we put "estimates" about money in our newspaper from people whose job involves breaking the law? Put me on record as "estimating" that they are losing no money, how about that.

But aren't these folks already taking jobs away from American citizens?

"That's a lie," Sandoval said in a sharp tone. "I assure you, most people wouldn't last two days out here."
Ohhhh, a sharp tone.

Although he expressed empathy for farmers, Jim Ludwick, president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform, said the situation does not justify more immigration to the state.

Instead of clamoring for the cheap labor, farmers should be lobbying Oregon legislators to remove the restrictions on children working the fields, Ludwick said.

"A number of years ago, those strawberries would have been picked by Oregon school children," he said.
Now there's a solution that doesn't involve breaking any laws.

"There's no sense of having to work for your school clothes," Quiñones said. "But, more than anything, it's hard work."
We sure don't want to teach kids about hard work and the value of a dollar these days.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't believe that the lack of migrant seasonal workers to pick Oregon's strawberry crop is due to the Minuteman Project. Where are the thousands of illegal immigrants who are already here "to do the work that Americans wouldn't?" If the Minuteman Project is making illegals insecure and fear crossing the border, then GOOD!
Do these farms even advertise that they need help picking crops or do they just assume that the migrant workers will come? I don't see any ads in the newspapers or employment division websites. Sue K

Anonymous said...

The Minutemen have nothing to do with this so called shortage of illegal workers. What we have happening here is the illegal aliens are moving on to better paying jobs in construction and elsewhere.

I have no sympathy for the agriculture industry anymore. I'll grow my own fruit and vegetables, and purchase only what I have to from them. Heck, I'll buy my produce from imported sources like Chile, New Zealand, etc. Dan J

Robin said...

I used to pick strawberries as a kid to make extra money, but now because of child labor laws, our kids are not allowed to do this.

Maybe we should rethink this issue as well.

Anonymous said...

Dan J-
I agree with your post. My thoughts exactly! Sue K

Allen said...

Hey, the Illegals are still here but they don't want to do that kind of work anymore.

They have been here long enough to learn how to work the many Social Service programs.

Actually they didn't figure it out, their children learned how its all done at school and in Spanish.

Now only the systems work but that keeps the PERS pickers happy.

Demographer said...

Daniel –

What is the use of all of this? I’ve gone to great lengths (literally, given the length of my posts) to engage you in a serious debate over this issue. I’ve answered every question that you and others have presented to me. You, on the other hand, have failed to respond to so many. From your silence I can only conclude that you have no answers, or you were uncomfortable with the direction in which the conversation was going. This is, of course, fine. You’ve made up your mind (your web address makes this very clear). I’ve got some parting suggestions for you:

Turn off your computer, and get out some poster-board and a magic marker. Make a sign that you can wear reading “GET OUT OF MY COUNTRY”. Put it on and go find a strawberry field and start picking. Along the way, you can collect data from those working beside you. Find out how to say “Are you working here legally?” in Spanish. Any hesitation to answer you would give you reason to suspect that the person is here illegally, and then, you can immediately contact the INS. Get your friends to do the same, and eventually you'll have a social movement. If I shared your beliefs, I would find this a much more productive course of action than this blog site.

This is my final post.

Peace.

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Gullyborg said...

Why not enlist all the people on unemployment and welfare to go pick the strawberries?

Anonymous said...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/09/AR2005060900420_pf.html

read it and weep!

jwalker said...

demographer, I think you forget that you and I have had a very interesting debate this week.
Also, your comments are always interesting and well thought out. But, when I bring up the issues of real people in real situations on the border and homeland security, you never give me a straight answer.

Daniel, with our support, is trying to, through news stories, shed a light on reality, not just positive thinking and high ideals. Maybe you don't belong here.

Daniel said...

Thanks JWalker. I also enjoy reading demographer's posts. I'm not sure what questions of his that I never answered. But anyways it seems that pretty much everyone else here is in agreement and have put out some other good reasoning that demographer didn't bother responding to.

Now if you'll excuse me I have a poster board sign to make...

Daniel said...

BTW for any of you who would like to let Daniel Quiñones ("There's fear about crossing the border and insecurity because of the Minuteman Project.") our faithful public servant, know what you think here is his email address: Daniel.J.Quinones@state.or.us

Daniel said...

Great examples of these "hardworking" immigrants can be found at:

Daniel said...

Great examples of these "hardworking" immigrants can be found at:
http://daylaborers.org/

The Rambling Taoist said...

I used to pick strawberries as a kid to make extra money, but now because of child labor laws, our kids are not allowed to do this.Maybe we should rethink this issue as well.

Aah,now here's a solution. In fact, it could be a solution to many problems.

You know, GM is on the brink of bankruptcy. Why not get rid of all the union workers and replace them with child labor? Hey, they could build our cars, just not be old enough to drive 'em!

And maybe we could use this scheme to halt all of the US jobs being shipped overseas. If US companies could hire 7 and 8 year olds at pennies on the dollar, I bet a lot of US companies would keep jobs here at home.

[Note: Above comments are dripping in sarcasm -- in case you didn't figure that out.]

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