Sunday, June 19, 2005

Expect your summer strawberries to be a bit more expensive. Tighter immigration controls at the Mexican border have caused a shortage of pickers, leaving fruit to rot on the vine. Illegal immigrants are being prevented from coming across to pick the fruit.

The argument that illegal immigrants take jobs that legal Americans would have now begins to unravel. The pay for pickers is probably below minimum wage, and surprisingly, no American wants to pick strawberries for that wage. Last week the state Employment Department issued an emergency plea for strawberry pickers. Without the pickers, Oregon strawberry farmers are losing $10,000 per day.

Jim Ludwick, president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform, said he felt sorry for the farmers, but that the situation does not justify more immigration to the state.

Instead of clamoring for the cheap labor, farmers should be lobbying Oregon legislators to remove the restrictions on children working the fields, Ludwick said.

(I just had to share that with you. Mr. Ludwig is in favor of going back to child labor rather than paying more for strawberries.)

What really needs to happen is for farmers to pay competitive wages to attract American workers. If they paid a million dollars a year, with severance packages, more accountants would be picking strawberries instead of cooking books to enhance corporate revenues.


Blogger Morris said...

I agree with you that if we legalized mexican horseracing all our economic problems would disapear!

Ask Morris

1:49 PM  

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