How stupid do they think we are? The NY Times:
HURON, Calif. — When Chuck Herrin, who runs a large farm labor contracting company, looks out at the hundreds of workers he hires each year to tend to the countless rows of asparagus, grapes, tomatoes, peaches and plums, he often seethes in frustration.
It is not that he has any trouble with the laborers. It is that he, like many others in agriculture here, is increasingly fed up with immigration laws that he says prevent him from fielding a steady, reliable work force.
“What we have going on now is a farce — a waste of time and money,” said Mr. Herrin, a lifelong Republican who grew up in central California, adding that the country should be considering ways to bring workers in, not keep them out. “We need these people to get our food to market.”
California is home to an estimated 2.5 million illegal immigrants, more than in any other state. Perhaps nowhere else captures the contradictions and complications of immigration policy better than California’s Central Valley, where nearly all farmworkers are immigrants, roughly half of them living here illegally, according to estimates from agricultural economists at the University of California, Davis.
That reality is shaping the views of agriculture business owners here, like Mr. Herrin, who cannot recall ever voting for a Democrat. In dozens of interviews, farmers and owners of related businesses said that even the current system of tacitly using illegal labor was failing to sustain them. A work force that arrived in the 1990s is aging out of heavy labor, Americans do not want the jobs, and tightened security at the border is discouraging new immigrants from arriving, they say, leaving them to struggle amid the paralysis on immigration policy. No other region may be as eager to keep immigration legislation alive.
The tension is so high that the powerful Western Growers Association, a group based in Irvine, Calif., that represents hundreds of farmers in California and Arizona, says many of its members may withhold contributions from Republicans in congressional races because of the party’s stance against a comprehensive immigration overhaul.
There is more bullshit at the link if you want to finish reading it. I didn’t finish because I stopped reading and began cursing and screaming at my monitor.
I reside about 90 miles northeast of Huron in the Central Valley of California. I have lived here most of my life. From the age of five until I was thirteen I lived on a Del Monte farm labor camp because my evil step-father was the third banana at Fancher Peach Ranch.
I can assure you from my own personal knowledge and experience that there is no shortage of immigrant labor anywhere in this entire valley. None. What we have a shortage of is jobs.
Border security is a bad joke. Immigrants from Mexico and Central America flood across the border by the thousands every single day. A small percentage are caught at the border and returned to Mexico to try again.
The 99%+ that make it past the border are home free because there is basically no immigration enforcement anywhere else. When an illegal immigrant is unlucky enough to get caught by the police or in one of the photo-op sweeps that the “Migra” performs periodically, they usually get set free unless they have committed some other serious crime. The Obama administration has halted virtually all deportations.
If you visit one of the small valley towns like Huron you might think you were in Mexico rather than the United States because almost everybody in those communities is a Mexican national. Not just of Mexican descent – they are Mexican citizens.
It makes absolutely no sense to me that the Central Valley has one of the highest rates of unemployment and welfare dependency but at the same time they want us to start bringing in even more immigrants because we have a labor shortage.
Much of the pressure for immigration reform is coming from big businesses like the members of the Western Growers Association. They love cheap labor and it’s cheaper to pay off politicians than pay their workers more money.
I need to stop here because I can feel my blood pressure rising again.
Exit question: How did the author of this article (Jennifer Medina) happen to hook up with Mr. Herrin?