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Thread: The High Cost of Tough Immigration Enforcement (not enough farm workers)

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    Senior Member HAPPY2BME's Avatar
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    The High Cost of Tough Immigration Enforcement (not enough farm workers)

    The High Cost of Tough Immigration Enforcement

    nbclosangeles.com
    By Larry Gerston
    Tuesday, May 29, 2012

    Get-tough immigration policies are certainly having an impact on the number of people crossing into the United States illegally.

    But for Californiaís vast agriculture business, the crackdowns may be bringing costly consequences.
    Some of the state's farmers grow crops that need to be picked by hand. From melons in the Imperial Valley to grapes and berries up the central coast and nut products to the very north, these delicate crops require the hands of about 500,000 workers.

    For generations, many of those workers have been illegal Mexican immigrants, who historically have crossed into the state in early spring before returning home in the fall. They have come illegally because of laws that limit their legal numbers.

    Now this unwritten agreement between employers and employees is in trouble. Over the past few years, border enforcement has interfered with the movement of the illegal labor force. A recent study by the Pew Hispanic Center cites the extent that the illegal immigrant workforce has declined in recent years.

    Whereas one million crossed over in 2005, only 286,000 dared to do so in 2011. While not all immigrants come to work in the fields, that still represents a huge drop in the labor pool for these agricultural jobs.
    And California is the most dependent state on seasonal workers, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    About $3 billion of production of California's $40 billion agriculture industry requires hand picking, three times as much as the next state, Florida.

    Yet, with so few people able to come into the state, even if all 286,000 illegals dedicated themselves to crop harvests, we would still have only about half the required labor. Even that number is optimistic, because some adults will not work in agriculture at all. Others are young children.

    How this plays out remains to be seen. We know that last year, many farmers in the state were unable to harvest all their crops because of labor shortages.

    That translates into fewer sales for farmers, and by extension less revenue for the state. If the most recent illegal crossing numbers are any indication, this year is likely to be worse.

    So there you have it. Our borders may be more secure, but we may be paying for that security in lost farm income and higher consumer prices at the supermarket.

    Larry Gerston teaches political science at San Jose State University and is the political analyst at NBC Bay Area.

    source:
    The High Cost of Tough Immigration Enforcement | NBC Los Angeles
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    Senior Member HAPPY2BME's Avatar
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    Join our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & to secure US borders by joining our E-mail Alerts at http://eepurl.com/cktGTn

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    Senior Member judyweller's Avatar
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    Bring back the Bracero program which Ted Kennedy killed.
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    Senior Member 4thHorseman's Avatar
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    [QUOTESo there you have it. Our borders may be more secure, but we may be paying for that security in lost farm income and higher consumer prices at the supermarket.][/QUOTE]

    I will gladly pay for higher priced fruits and vegetables if indeed we secure the border in the process. If we added the total costs of illegal immigration to the cost of whatever services illegals provide we would find it all overpriced. Moreover, one of the SMALLEST items in my budget is food. Taxes, insurance and energy (electricity, gasoline, etc) cost me far more per month. And fresh fruits and vegetables are among the cheapest food items. Now I mean real food, not fast food, junk food, prepared foods, or the myriad of non-food items that show up in most of our shopping carts every week (pet food/products, cosmetics, OTC medications, toilet paper, tissues, napkins, batteries, light bulbs, toothpaste, mouth wash, soap, dish washer soap, laundry detergent, storage bags, garbage bags, etc,. etc. ) You get the picture. I would guess that on any given week half to three fourths of my grocery bill is for non-food items.

    Moreover, I do not give two hoots in hell for ANY LOST INCOME to farmers and ag businesses that have been deliberately hiring illegal aliens to boost their profits while the rest of us taxpayers get stuck with the remaining costs associated with the illegal labor (medical, housing, welfare, education, etc.)
    "We have met the enemy, and they is us." - POGO

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