Americans, Once Again, Don't Want Immigrant Jobs

This New York Times article, once again, shows that most Americans are simply not willing to do the work of immigrants.

This year, though, with tough times lingering and a big jump in the minimum wage under the [H-2A] program, to nearly $10.50 an  hour, Mr. Harold brought in only two-thirds of his usual contingent. The other  positions, he figured, would be snapped up by jobless local residents wanting some extra summer cash.

“It didn’t take me six hours to realize I’d made a heck of a mistake,” Mr. Harold said, standing in his onion field on a recent afternoon as a crew of workers from Mexico cut the tops off yellow onions and bagged them.

Six hours was enough, between the 6 a.m. start time and noon lunch break, for the first wave of local workers to quit. Some simply never came back and gave no reason. Twenty-five of them said specifically, according to farm records, that the work was too hard. On the Harold migrant farmersfarm, pickers walk the rows alongside a huge harvest vehicle called a mule train, plucking ears of corn and handing them up to workers on the mule who box them and lift the crates, each weighing 45 to 50 pounds.

“Farmers have to bear almost all the labor market risk because [under the H-2A program] they must prove no one really was available, qualified or willing to work,” said Dawn D. Thilmany, a professor of agricultural economics at Colorado State University. “But the only way to offer proof is to literally have a field left unharvested.”

With food prices already increasing over the past year, do we really need to leave crops rotting in the fields?  And there are similar stories in other states, like Florida, Georgia and Alabama.

Of course, the basic moral premise here is that these farmers have a right to their property, a right to their businesses and have the right to hire whomever they please to work in their fields.  Unfortunately, our government is violating these farmers' rights by arbitrarily restricting immigration, and it needs to stop before even more damage is done to our already-struggling economy.

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