When will we turn to government and demand that the flames of a broken immigration system be put out? When will our house be put in order and balance be restored along our borders, particularly with Mexico?
Many would-be workers are no longer willing to take the risk of crossing the border to work our fields.
Labor contractors supplying workers for large Western growers are struggling to find enough people for harvest. They report that not only are they concerned about the shortage due to increased immigration enforcement, they also find workers are opting for comparable jobs in other industries and other nations to avoid the difficulties with immigration enforcement in U.S. agriculture.
Pass these laws: We all have a stake in meaningful immigration reform, an overhaul of the broken H2A guestworker program and the urgent passage of pending legislation in Congress known as AgJOBS (S 359 and HR 884).
The legislation will offer a temporary guestworker program that will give farmers a reliable work force right now, and will allow some time for meaningful, comprehensive immigration reforms.
Let's stipulate that the farmers and the service industry, namely the restraunt association, are important Republican constituencies. And they like their illegal alien workers!
So what would happen to these industries if every illegal alien were deported tommorow? The free market would kick in. There would be a demand and the market always provides for a supply.
This may be through mechanization or a different demographic of manual labor. Or best of all, it may mean we curtail some of the asinine restrictions that government has placed on labor.
If you want a headache you can read Oregon's Farm/Forest Labor Contractor Handbook and see what farmers have to deal with for regulations, fees, hiring practices, etc.
To see what punishes the restrauts simply look at Oregon's minimum wage.
Imagine if we could stop the criminal invasion of our country and compell government to reduce beauracratic regualtion, ease the labor laws and let the market decided the wages all at the same time!
For those that say "Americans won't do these jobs" I say it's because who wants to go work somewhere that no one speaks the same language as you? Somewhere that has Juan Gomez as the foreman and all his cousins as the workers. You would be the outsider.
It has become a cultural/social norm for Spanish speakers to take these jobs and that does discourage English speaking citizens from doing them. But if we changed that norm then I have no doubt that the septic tank cleaner, the ditch digger, etc would take these jobs that pay higher than minimum wage.
And if the ridiculous child labor laws were relaxed or done away with we would have a huge workforce in the summer and be teaching valuable work ethics to our kids at the same time! All without breaking the law.
My point is that the industries that "depend" on these workers have been regulated, burdened, and priced almost out of bussiness. Instead of focusing on passing new laws like AGJobs, we should be focusing on repealing old laws and regulations that have burdened these industries for years.