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Sunday, September 24, 2006

New Immigration Control

There was an article not to long ago that came out regarding Lakeport, California and their problems with immigration control. The pear growers of Lakeport California waited decades for the perfect crop, like the ones they had last month. However, now harvest time has some and gone and the pears have ripened to mush on their branches, the growers could not find enough pickers. Stronger boarder enforcement has kept many illegal Mexican migrant worker out of California this year which is putting new strains on the state’s shortage of seasonal farm workers. Growers are getting more and more frustrated with Congress who has all but given up on passing legislation this year to create an agricultural guest-worker program. As it becomes harder and harder to get into this country, many illegal immigrates have been reluctant to return to Mexico in the off-season. So many choose to remain in the country year round and now gravitating towards more stable jobs.

Many people favor the harder enforcement, thinking it is better for America, however it is hard to see all sides to a story. Of course, no government program always goes the way you expect it to. In this case, it resulted in huge labor shortages, especially in the fruit picking industry. People who only want to come to work in this country and then leave with their earning, some of them even receiving an invitation on the condition of immigration norms, are now not allowed into the country or favor higher paying jobs that allow a more permanent residency. The result of this is now fruit is rotting on trees and not being made available to customers. This is bad for producers, consumers, and bad for the workers. It’s one thing to migrate to this country and stay, and another to come and pick fruit and leave with their earnings. I feel that this "crackdown" on immigrates is going to make it harder for the seasonal workers to come and pick fruit, where as it encourages those already here in the US to stay, even if in hiding.

One solution to this problem is to allow growers to hire any persons that they want and thus let the invited worker come freely. Most would prefer to return home to their family to spend their money, especially when their contract would run out, than to stay in California, the most expensive state in the US, in hiding.

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