Cut off the welfare checks and today's unemployed will be Tom Joads, harvesting whatever in order to eat.
By Monica Alonzo
By Stephen Lemons
By Jason P. Woodbury
By Dulce Paloma Baltazar Pedraza
By Ray Stern
By Pete Kotz
By Monica Alonzo
By New Times
Santiago Gonzalez has not been able to escape the labor shortage.
This year, he planted a mere 10 acres of onions, down from a 700-acre crop two years ago. Planting 700 acres of crops is expensive — and Gonzalez couldn't find an investor willing to take the risk.
"It's a huge investment," he says, "and my usual partner was afraid that we wouldn't be able to find the workers."
Agriculture is a $10.3 billion industry in Arizona, which has seen a slight drop in its number of farms over the past three years. Last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that there were 15,500 farms operating in Arizona, down from 15,637 farms in 2007.
In 2010, there were about 17,900 fewer acres of Arizona land used grow the nation's food supply, compared to 2007.
Industry experts estimate that the labor shortage will only aggravate that trend and that it will have a ripple effect outside the world of farmers.
Tom Nassif, president and CEO of Western Growers, a coalition of Southwest farmers, told congressional leaders that it wasn't just about America losing its farms, but that "for every farm worker job that goes, an additional two to three U.S. jobs in other industries will go with it. America could lose its domestic supply of fresh produce and accelerate the flight of farming to Mexico and beyond."
For now, Arizona farmers continue to produce.
Corn is grown on more farms than any other crop and sold during spring in Arizona, followed by squash and cantaloupe, according to the USDA National Agriculture and Statistics Service.
Arizona farmers are also busy each spring harvesting apricots, tomatoes, lemons, oranges, potatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, peaches, grapefruits, and onions.
In summer months, they deliver zucchini, radishes, tomatoes, watermelons, grapes, apples, radishes, sweet peppers, cucumbers, figs, pears, and black-eyed peas.
The fields in Arizona are worked just as hard in the fall and winter, when states in other regions are buried under snow. During the mild winter months, farmers are harvesting basil and broccoli, lemons and lettuce, spinach and squash, and key limes and kohlrabi (a German turnip that looks like a baby cabbage and tastes like crunchy broccoli).
Sustaining the industry has been a challenge for farmers in need of workers to harvest the land's produce. Not only are farmers at the mercy of Mother Nature, they also contend with state and federal lawmakers adopting ever-stricter anti-immigration measures.
Arizona and its stack of anti-immigrant laws have created new challenges for farmers as potential workers, fearful of deportation, relocate to other, more immigrant-friendly states.
The first of Arizona laws targeting illegal immigrants came in 2004, when lawmakers required voters to provide proof of citizenship to cast ballots, a way to ensure illegal immigrants weren't participating in the democratic process. Later, they crafted measures aimed at keeping undocumented immigrants off the payrolls in Arizona and from receiving public benefits, such as food stamps and unemployment pay, and making it harder for them to access education by demanding out-of-state tuition from undocumented college students.
The most controversial law, signed by Governor Jan Brewer a year ago, makes it a crime to be in Arizona without proper documents and mandates that local cops enforce federal immigration laws.
A federal judge has blocked the most stringent provisions of the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act, known more commonly as SB 1070, until the courts can determine its constitutionality.
The law may be hung up in court, but some immigrants aren't waiting around to see whether it will be thrown out.
A study by the Public Policy Institute of California estimates that about 92,000 illegal immigrants fled Arizona from 2008 to 2009 as a result of the state's Legal Arizona Workers Act, a law that made participation in E-Verify mandatory for Arizona employers. And as word of the harsh laws spread, it also disrupts the flow of immigrants who would normally arrive in time to harvest Arizona's crops.
Several other states, including Georgia, Colorado, Mississippi, Missouri, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia, have adopted similar laws.
"Arizona agriculture is very labor-intensive," says Joe Sigg, a lobbyist for the Arizona Farm Bureau, adding that because fruits and vegetables grown here are sold as fresh produce, taking care not to damage their appearance carries greater importance. It also makes them that much harder to harvest.
"There is incredible hand/eye coordination that is required for harvesting these crops," he says.
In other states, like Florida, the citrus is grown to process into juices and other products; some of that labor can be done by machines.
Sigg says it's unclear how much these laws drive the labor shortage, but he knows that it's been a problem farmers have grappled with for years.
"I can say that even before these laws started to pop up, we were seeing a shortage of workers," Sigg says. "Our industry doesn't have an immigration problem, we have a labor problem. It's going to continue to grow and get greater in the future."
Santiago Gonzalez experiences that firsthand, and wonders who ultimately will be feeding America.
"Skilled workers are hard to find. And you can't pay what they're used to getting in construction," he says. "And, here, the land is feeding us, giving us our food. Who's going to pitch these watermelons? Or harvest the onions, the tomatoes?"
Cut off the welfare checks and today's unemployed will be Tom Joads, harvesting whatever in order to eat.
orale, white trash get to work, isn't what you mofo's wanted,, ""immigrants are coming to our country and steal our jobs"" now no immigrants,,,,,,,,,,,,,,GET TO WORK
why is it always about picking crops. What about construction. GO to any construction site today and count how many white, black, or Asian Americans you will see. Not many because as a certified electrician I will not work for $12 an hour when I should be paid about 17-18 an hour but illegals will work for 12. So they get the job. With millions of Americans out of work I am all for any anti-illegal immigration laws. My kids will not grow up speaking Spanish that is for sure.
If a federal living wage mandatory,then you'd see we don't need any foreigners in our country.NO WAGE SLAVERY!Fix your own damn society,you foreigner/scab!
Under Title 8 Section 1325 of the U.S. Code, "Improper Entry by Alien," any citizen of any country other than the United States who:
Enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers; or
Eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers; or
Attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact; has committed a federal crime.
Violations are punishable by criminal fines and imprisonment for up to six months. Repeat offenses can bring up to two years in prison. Additional civil fines may be imposed at the discretion of immigration judges, but civil fines do not negate the criminal sanctions or nature of the offense.
I do not think it as a mistake to remove illegal’s from America. What our labor problem is, America has grown lazy with allowing immigrants to work our farms and orchards. It has taken much away from local farmers and their communities by not teaching our children to work hard and learn the benefits from getting back to basics. If we put the 4H clubs back into school, and helped our local farmers, our economy and labor problems would soon turn for the best. It is not up to our government to provide us jobs, we can create community jobs and form community greenhouses and farms to sustain smaller communities and team with larger ones and share the growth. Support your community, get off your butt and help your neighbor. Soon money will be there to payout.
elect Ron Paul, he has the solutions that is best for all involved. Dems don't like him, Reps don't like him, find out why. Hint, he has them solutions.
If the 12,000,000 plus illegal immigrants had a political leaning towards the conservative republicans would the pro illegal immigrants group still help with amnesty? I don't think so.
It is just a matter of time till we see the effects of living in a prejudice society. Maybe when the lack of produce hits home and there pocket book they will see how big a mistake they made.
Who are we going to allow to cross the border illegally to do the jobs that Mexican illegal immigrants won't do?
The 12 million illegals didn't disappear. They just moved up to service industry jobs. Now I have to speak Spanish to order lunch.
Correct. Imagine living in a country, where you have paid taxes, your parents have paid taxes, and possibly your grandparents and greatgrandparents. Then millions of foregin nationals, are allowed to take up residence, doing not only farming, but every type of service and blue collar job Americans used to do at a living wage. But the foregin nationals are doing the jobs cheaper and the democrat party,(party of the unions) supports them fully. Then, imagine that these corporations decide that since there are now millions of these foreign natioanls here, it would be better to hire people that speak their language. Well, that nation is now called the United States of America. What would Mexicans, in Mexico, for example, feel if this were happening in Mexico? Yet on this and many thousands of blogs sites in the U.S. the whole idea is thought to be "just fine."
Well now here is the big opportunity for unemployed U.S. citizens. What? Watermelons are to heavy and hard to work with? Oh. But I thought you wanted to work. Arizona needs you or it will fall to reality again. Don't want those immigrants filling in the space do you? Or should we just let the melons rot in the field and shame on the farmer for trying?
The border can't be "secured", deaths can't be prevented but the more "secure" the border is the more migrant workers who die without a reasonable migrant worker guest program.
Sounds to me like you may well be onto something dude.www.anon-vpn.us.tc
MAYBE if all the Mexican laborers were not working at Burger King, McDonalds, Walmart or other fast food place or store THERE would be more laborers to work in the fields. That just goes to show that the employers are NOT E VERYING people they hire. Even JC Penneys has undoucumented workers working for them, they can't even speak or understand English but there they are working in the store and when you ask them for assistance and THEY can't understand you, very quickly a english speaking person comes to their aid. Employers will not hire U.S. citizens but they are quick to hire UNDOCUMENTED Illens to work for them. I'm so sick and tired of see people appear on tv saying that there are not enought Mexican laborers to work in the fields....Here is a hint look for then at Jack in the Box, McDonalds,Burger King etc....
Employers aren't permitted to ask if you are a US citizen and the notion that "Employers will not hire US citizens" is absurd. If you are having trouble finding a job it has nothing to do with your citizenship.
BTW, just because someone is brown and speaks Spanish doesn't mean they are in the country illegally.
So excellently said, but it will fall on the deaf ears of most of those posting here. You see, that think everything's about picking vegetables in the hot sun. No it isn't. It's about merging the U.S. with one of the most corrupt nations in the world, Mexico, and forcing wages down to the bare minimum. That is exactly why JC Penneys, and every other company imaginable tries to use cheap bottom line illegal labor. The stupid fools on this blog don't care or possibly even realize, that Americans fought a long and bitter fight, a long time ago, to establish unions and good pay and some basic rights. Yet, all they talk about here are the rights of the "undocumented" that are being used to take away the rights of Americans. Clueless!
So if a person does not speak english they are illegal immigrants? WOW! INCREDIBLE!
I did not realized all those spouces brought to the US by service men and women from overseas that speak very little or no english were illegals; And those children born IN the United States and taken to other countries at an early age so they grow up learn another language and later want to return the the country they were born in as adults were also ILLEGALS!
WE NEED TO ROUND UP EVERY PERSON IN THIS COUNTRY THAT DOES NOT SPEAK ENGLISH AND DEPORT THEM NOW! THEY ARE ILLEGALS AND HAVE NO RIGHT TO BE HERE! DEPORT THEM! DEPORT THEM I TELL YOU!
"Even JC Penneys has ***undoucumented workers*** working for them, they can't even speak or understand English"
"Employers will not hire U.S. citizens but they are quick to hire ***UNDOCUMENTED Illens (sic)*** to work for them"
You need to go back to school and brush up on your reading comprehension skills.
What a racist crock of shit this article is. Mexican labors. Please. What about polish or Irish laborers. You fucking beans think you are the only people who ever grew and picked their own food? Get real. If it weren't for the spainards fucking the whore native Indians you mexis wouldnt exist.
Listen, American idiots are used to picking crops because they are spoiled brats thanks to stupid parents and mainstream media. Every stupid kid nowadays knows nothing more than playstation, American idol and Justin bieber.
The parents need to turn that shit off and teach their kid how to make a life for themselves. The schools aren't going to teach them. Schools today are nothing more than indoctrination farms, creating herds of brain dead sheep.
I have nothing against mexicans wanting to come here for a better life, even though they are too coward to stay in Mexico and fight to make it a better place, but they need to come here LEGALLY. They need to pay taxes like my mother and father do, like my grandmother and grandfather did.
Taxes is what helped to build the USA strong. People migrating here LEGALLY and becoming US citizens.
These illegals today are not immigrants, they are invaders who sneak here, and then steal identities and leech off of taxpayers.
Boo fucking hoo about your shortage of mexi laborers. I'll grow and pick my own food. It will probably be far better than that shit the assho,e FDA passes too, what with all that gmo and cloned manufactured shit they are allowing people to eat.
Ps fuck the nwo. And fuck illegals. Illegal is not a race, it is a crime.
So where are those Polish and Irish laborers? How do you think all those houses in Arizona got built during the housing boom? Stop demanding and consuming the goods and services produced by illegal aliens and/or increase the number of immigration visas for the workers that come/stay here illegally to produce the goods and services that we demand and consume.
You are really dumb, and you right we Mexicans may be invaders but it is not different from what your ancestor did DUMB.
Adrian, I would have to disagree, the Mexicans are not invaders, they colonized, mapped and settled this land before any of us got here and robbed them of their land, and by us I mean any Europeans, or European descendants. That would be like telling Native Americans "get out of America, you dont belong here".
"Understand something" Bobby, I am not "PRO" Illegal immigration, my ONLY consern here is the Rights of Americans and the Rights of ALL mankind in general, get it through your thick fucking skull, I AM NOT PRO ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, BUT I AM AGAINST CORRUPT SHERIFFS, CORRUPT SENATE PRESIDENTS, AND CORRUPT GOVERNORS. and against any law enforcement officer or agency that thinks they are above the law because they have a badge. Is that so fucking hard to understand?
I DO NOT, I REPEAT, I DO FUCKING NOT justify violation of Civil Rights of American Citizens ( FELONY ) to catch 1 undocumented worker ( CIVIL MISDEAMEANOR ) as the so called Sheriff did in his last raid. Get it trough your fucking skull numbnuts.
Understand something folks, it's easy to see that although this fellow gives himself the name US War Veteran, his message is totally incongruent. He is fighting for some other cause that isn't American. Case closed. The scary part is 5 people agree with him and knowning this liberal blog, I woudln't doubt it's more like 500. Yes, this country is polarized. But not like the left would like to paint it good Americans vs. nativists, as US War Veteran constantly does. I would say it's traitors vs. patriots, I'll leave it to people with insight to determine who is who.
Taxes are what helped build the USA strong?
Interesting, when do you think the Federal income tax came into existence? And do you really think that people who earn < $20K/yr pay income taxes?
Do you know what it took for the Irish and Poles to legally migrate to the US? They had to show up and sign their name. That's was it. Joe Arpaio's parents hopped on a tramp streamer without a visa or a passport or the prior permission of the United States and showed up in the US.
Illegal immigration isn't the problem you and your fellow uneducated red neck goobers want to pretend it is.
Yes, and those immigrants you mentioned, the Irish and Poles, followed the laws and rules of immigration to the USA at that time period.
But we are not talking about 80 or 100 years ago, as you very well know. We are talking about RIGHT NOW, and guess what Marcy? Poles and Irish have to jump through ALL sorts of hoops to try to emigrate to the USA. So why should Mexicans be treated any different? Are you racist or something?
Marcy in the USA we live like civilized people thanks to income tax, sales tax and property tax.
See, public services such as police and fire department, water, sewage, traffic signals, roads, parks, street lamps, bus service, libraries, recycling/garbage, all cost money. These services are not free.
Yes before income tax was implemented people were still taxed, just differently.
Yes, long ago when I jade 20k per year I still had income tax taken out of my paycheck. I worked at a subway when I was 16, almost 20 years ago. I remember, I made minimum wage which was about 6.75 an hour. At part time, since I was still in high school, I remember my paychecks being about 175-200 every couple weeks. Guess what, they took income tax out.
You are mistaken. I am not the problem. I follow the laws of this land, which is the united states of America.
The people who are the problem are you and your roach friends who think the laws don't apply to them. This includes congress who are usurping their constituents. Do you know what that word means or is it above your Mexican educated head? Constituents = taxpayers. Congress works for taxpayers. Mayors work for taxpayers. The president and government work for taxpayers. We pay their salaries. In a republic the citizens are the government.
The USA is a republic. You ever heard the pledge of alliegence? "...to the republic for which it stands...".
What happens If I sneak into Mexico? Tell me. What happens you fucking ignorant cunt?
You want to see mexican lawless culture? Google 53 killed in Monterrey when drug cartel lit a casino on fire.
Well thank god. 53 less roaches to invade and leech off of US taxpayers.
Illegal is not a race, it is a crime.
Anyone who is here illegally, Mexican, polish, Irish, Bosnian, Muslim, Chinese, get the fuck out. Go back to where you came from and come back LEGALLY. Follow our fucking laws.
Stating facts that all, something you seem to have a problem with, but I do realize "facts" do not play a part in your fantasy world.
I find it very interresting that you mention "anchor babies" and "propaganda" in the same post, at least you didn't put it in the same sentence. I dont know why but I just want to say "hypocrite" over and over again, now I can't get that word out of my mind. Damn the bad luck.
I surprised you are making taxes such a big part of your argument, I am not defending illegal immigration but I should tell you, even illegal immigrants pay taxes, they pay taxes on absolutely everything they buy, from food, clothes, tools, gas, to cars and houses (rent or own it doesn't matter). they also pay income tax, how you ask? simple, their employers have to pay taxes, they are not going to pull that out of their pockets so they withold that from their employees, the difference now between you and I and illegal immigrants is that while you and I can file an income tax return and include our expenses on it to get some of that money back, illegal immigrants can not file returns, so the State and Federal Governments keep all that money collected, so ultimately they pay as much if not more than us.
"They don't earn enough to pay income taxes and if they aren't in the country legally the pay Social Security taxes but aren't eligible to collect benefits."
No, but their anchor baby children ARE eligible to collect benefits. You can see this all day every day if you know anyone involved in PHX social services. Just ask them. "American" (lol) kids are eligible for poverty assistance, no matter if their parents are illegals or not. And aid checks do not get addressed to children, they get addressed to guardians which means, yes...you guessed it: illegals can and do get 'government checks' all the time.
But then you probably already knew that, but typically don't want to ever bring that up because it doesn't help your amnesty case and throws an ugly light on your political propaganda.
BTW, you are obviously delusional if you think minimum wage was $6.75/hr "almost 20 years ago". It is $7.35/hr in Arizona today. 20 years ago was 1991 and minimum wage was $4.25/hr.
You sound upset and angry, get some anger therapy.
This is about changing to laws back to something that was working before racist dimwits like you demanded the laws governing guest labor be changed in the misguided belief that farm workers from Mexico were taking jobs from Americans.
I used to wander down to Mexico all the time, no paperwork, no visa, no passport, I just walked across the border. No problem and nobody hassling me. I travel frequently to other countries, most recently I was in another country for three weeks and rarely carried a single shred of ID. Left my passports in my safe in my apartment, no need for a driver's license since I wasn't driving, just took some money and a single debit card. Nobody was going to lock me up.
But you just keep that fire burning in your fevered imagination about immigrants being an awful problem in the US when the reality is far different.
Farm workers, legal or not, pay Social Security taxes, sales taxes and every other tax you mentioned. They don't earn enough to pay income taxes and if they aren't in the country legally the pay Social Security taxes but aren't eligible to collect benefits.
I'm quite familiar with what American demand for illegal drugs has done to Mexico.
Long ago $20K/yr was real money, now it isn't and people who make $20k/yr don't pay Federal income taxes. In fact about HALF of all LEGAL US residents who filed income tax returns paid ZERO federal income taxes.
Working hard in the farm fields isn't the definition of a leech honey. You sitting home on your couch collecting unemployment is.