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Immigration Reform…Some Thoughts

Posted by Pete | Posted in News | Posted on 29-03-2017


A few months ago I had a comment from a contract supplier of farm laborers from Mexico to serve farmers in the border states. He was having a difficult time getting sufficient workers to serve his clients…..Our farmers have a rough time hiring workers because most American will not do the farm work, planting, weeding, harvesting, etc. The Mexican workers will do the work and apparently will do an excellent job for them. We need to consider reforming this portion of our Immigration policy in my opinion. One, the contractor could handle the interviews and fees for the agricultural workers of ten or more workers in Mexico and he would sign to be responsible for these workers for the duration of the visa or green card for them for the month  or six weeks or whatever length of time deemed necessary. If a few of these workers meet with success with a farmer and that farmer wants to take over the responsibility for them, he can apply for an extended stay or visa for this/these workers for a longer period of time….This may also be an option for the construction industry who also has problems hiring certain type employee. We need to take some steps to rework immigration in certain areas, within reason, making it as easy as possible for the farmers to get  help with their crops and the construction industry to hire certain workers. This may also help with the illegal entries across our southern border. It’s a complicated issue I know,  but surely there are some small steps we can take to start this reform.

Comments (6)

In case you don’t know it, farm laborers from Mexico are human too. They are willing to do farm labor for hire only because they have to and will do so only as long as they have to. If you remember growing up in Coal Fire, our relatives, acquaintances, friends, and even ourselves did much farm labor only because we had to, to survive, every minute of which we were constantly looking forward to the day when there would be nice, easy high paying jobs available that would eliminate the necessity of doing such back bending, mind degrading work. But, first we had to go to college to even have a chance of a life without the back bending work of farm labor. You remember those days. We are human too, and we are no different from the Mexican laborers of whom you write. I am saying that the answer to the American farmers problems does not lie in the lack of cheap farm laborers. Instead, it is the lack of mechanization and automation on the farm itself. Cheap farm laborers may meet a need in the near term, but it is not the answer to the woes of agriculture in the long term. The old adage still holds true: “You can’t keep a good man down forever.” Temporary back bending farm labor may give certain laborers in need an opportunity to break out of poverty and to give their children the opportunity to break out of poverty; but, as soon as the break out has occurred, the farmer will be back at Square One searching for more cheap laborers. In the 19th century, the solution to the labor problem, especially the child labor entrapment in industry turned out to be mechanization, automation, and intelligent machines. The final, long term solution of the farm labor problem is the same. Food prices may have to rise to some extent to cover the cost; but not by very much because machines can do the work a lot more efficiently and more cheaply than people with far fewer complaints.

Really…they are human? Amazing….According to the bible we will have poor people forever. Those who wish to rise above that station in life are able to do so, without our help. This is a stop-gap job for a lot of people and a forever job for many people. Stopping the flow of illegals, who end up working at farm or construction locations, is what I was thinking about, not the human or non-human message you are delivering. A wall is the other step I suppose and may be the best idea of all.

All immigration is (or should be) a human\non-human message. It is not just a solution to a get-rich scheme by American big time farmers and building contractors for cheap labor. Cheap labor from across the border can only be a temporary solution to the woes of the American farmer because most will move out of such jobs as soon as they can. If good-paying jobs don’t become available in sufficiently numbers, then they will just move to a government assistance type situation that provided a lifestyle much superior than their original. As mechanization, automation, and intelligent machines were the key in providing opportunity in industry by the creation of high paying, career jobs for the educated, it is also the keys in agriculture to the successful feeding of a hungry world of an educated people who are too lazy (or educated) to do mind bending, back breaking farm manual labor. Else, the demand of a rapidly expanding hungry world will soon outstrip the supply of everything. Cheap farm laborers may meet a need in the short term; but, in the long term, there is no way that uneducated, cheap farm laborers can meet the supply problems that a world population of three billion and rising will cause. Why destroy the greatest culture in the world of a free, educated people with a cause that is lost before it began when we can do it right now by mechanizing and automating food production and educating the population to do labor other than mind bending, back breaking farm labor? The American farmer and their workers are not an entity all to its own, but there are farmers with a need for workers everywhere. Let’s not perpetuate a system that will lock vast numbers of people into mind bending, back breaking, dead end farm labor with no opportunity to break out and to realize one’s dreams.

I loved my Dad with all my heart, but he began his career in a different world when a relatively uneducated but ambitious and skilled entrepreneur in the timber industry could make big bucks by taking advantage of plentiful natural timber resources, abundant cheap labor, low stumpage, and low operating expenses to earn a huge income clear of expenses. WWII ushered in a time of change like no other. Industry of all kinds, including the farmer, no longer has abundant natural resources or cheap, uneducated laborers, low cost stumpage (that is natural resources), or low operating expenses; instead all of these are reversed while profit margins are narrowing. At the same time, our world is becoming increasingly like that of a spaceship where everything is measured, and everything must be recovered and re-used, else we all smother in our own waste. Yes, it’s a different world than which my Dad faced when he graduated from high school in ’33 and trotted off to Troy State College with a fancy football scholarship with one pair of overalls. It is now a world where entrepreneur alone is not enough because natural resources and rich, virgin land are not never-ending. It is a world where education is the key to survival; else a world with the largest population in history will die by suffocation in its own waste, lack of opportunity, and lack of food.

I still think it is a very good idea to have the illegals come across legally to do the farm work. It will continue. I know it will continue. You know it will continue, so we should try to make it as legal as we possibly can. Real world is, they are coming over. Control should be a goal.

You are very right. Pete. Control should be our goal whether we go for the temporary solution or the permanent solution.

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