Thursday, July 26, 2007
"If the Mexican farm laborers all went back tomorrow, the U.S. farm system would collapse"
It is a very telling fact about America that its people can no longer do its own work. The article below tells of “labor-intensive crops, which require unskilled but physically demanding harvesting under a blazing sky, and the mind-numbing task of sorting produce on a conveyor”. And that the labor for this is Latinos. Why has America produced generations of people who cannot do natural work and must live off of government money, becoming dependant and lazy and useless? And now they have created a class of failures that society provides no place but the street for and begging. Why can’t they do this type of time honored work? They must be weak and inferior and damaged for the most part. What sort of person, when in need, cannot just go out and do a job for some money, especially if they have a family. But America has created these people and then opened their back door for others to do their work instead. It is a nation full of plots and schemes and abuses in order to use people for the benefit of profit and power.
US Agriculture Dependent on Migrant Workers
Ed Stoddard - Reuters
Mission, Texas - Driving through the Lower Rio Grande Valley in
southern Texas, it is clear that whatever labor is being done on a
farm - be it driving a tractor or weeding a field - Latinos are
This is especially true for labor-intensive crops such as citrus
fruits, which require unskilled but physically demanding harvesting
under a blazing sky, and the mind-numbing task of sorting produce on
As the United States grapples with the fallout of a failed attempt
to overhaul immigration policy and set up a migrant worker program,
one thing is clear: U.S. agriculture is utterly dependent on migrant
"If the Mexican farm laborers all went back tomorrow, the U.S. farm
system would collapse," said Bobbie Brown, a crop farmer in the
lower Rio Grande Valley along the Texas/Mexico border.
Of 17 workers sorting limes from 40 pound bags into 2 pound bags on
a conveyor belt in Mission, Texas, all were Latino and almost none
could speak English. The limes were grown in Mexico and will be
distributed in U.S. grocery stores.
"I'll soon go to Oklahoma and Colorado to pick watermelons. Then
I'll be back here in September," one of them, who declined to give
his name, told Reuters.
Crops ranging from cotton to corn are grown in the area, much of it
in the cooler winter months. Fields of sugar cane and some hardy
corn were growing under a blazing July sun.
William Kandel, a sociologist with the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's Economic Research Service, said it was difficult to
estimate the numbers of farm workers and the percentage of the labor
force which came from south of the border.
"Government surveys suggest that there are roughly 700,000 to
850,000 hired farm workers, on average, at any given point during
the year in the United States. There are academic estimates that put
the figures substantially higher at between 1 and 1.4 million," he
A recent National Agricultural Workers Study (NAWS) by the
department of labor which surveys crop workers in the field found
that 75 percent of hired hands in the sector were from Mexico and
five percent were born in other foreign countries.
It also found that about half were "undocumented."
IMMIGRATION REFORM SOUGHT
Texas Produce Association president John McClung said that the
industry wanted a legal workforce and was on President George W.
Bush's attempt to formalize the status of millions of illegal
migrant workers, which was killed in June by the U.S. Senate.
"We need immigration reform, not a wall," he said, in reference to a
planned security fence that would run for hundreds of miles along
the U.S./Mexico border.
Critics of the current system contend that their illegal status
makes it easy for the farming industry to exploit many migrants.
McClung said that while some painted the industry as exploitative,
the average wage for a field laborer was $9.50 an hour, not great
for hard work, but higher than the minimum wage.
The industry view is that Mexico has the labor, Mexicans need the
work, and Americans don't want to do these jobs. So some kind of
immigration reform is required.
For obvious reasons, farmers did not admit on the record to hiring
One valley farmer said the vast majority of the Mexicans working the
land in south Texas at least had documents but admitted that forged
papers were not uncommon.
Go to most any grocery store or restaurant in America in the
summertime and you will see students stocking shelves or waiting
tables. But you won't see them picking crops.
But American students in search of summer work simply do not want to
do the hard labor in the fields or the sorting on conveyor belts.
"It's hard work in the hot sun. Americans just don't want to do it
anymore," said Betty Perez, a local rancher.
Industry officials maintain that the labor shortage is worsening
because the children of migrant workers are enjoying the life their
parents toiled for.
"Our labor situation is getting more difficult. More sons and
daughters of our workers are getting educated and acquiring skills,"
said Jeff Brechler, a sales representative with J & D Produce Inc.,
a grower, packer and shipper of produce in the lower Rio Grande
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