Importing Cheap Labor For Farmers
- The politicians pay American citizens not to work, and then import cheap foreign labor to help the profit margins of the agribusiness corporations that give mountains of campaign money to the politicians. This is corporate welfare.
- My Mom grew up on a farm and helped harvest crops. It was not that long ago that Americans, not imported foreigners, worked on our farms.
(Los Angeles Times) - Frustrated by Washington's inaction on immigration issues, California lawmakers are considering a measure to allow work permits for farmworkers living in the country illegally.
A similar effort died three years ago, opposed by immigrant rights groups and the state's powerful labor unions.
The legislation, which is backed by California farmers, sailed through the Assembly in June and is pending in the state Senate, where its prospects are uncertain.
The bill, which sponsor Assemblyman Luis Alejo (D-Watsonville) is quick to differentiate from existing guest worker programs, would create a group to seek authority for the proposed program from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Justice.
Rather than grant temporary work visas to foreign laborers, as some other programs do, Alejo's proposed program would give permits to individuals already residing in the state without authorization and working in agriculture.
The laborers and immediate family members — spouses and children under 18 or enrolled at an accredited institution — could remain in California without threat of deportation. The workers would have be at least 18, have performed a minimum amount of agricultural labor in the state and pay a fee to help cover administrative costs.
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