Skip to comments.U.S. farmers use inmates to harvest fields
Posted on 08/22/2007 4:37:51 PM PDT by nypokerface
PICACHO, Ariz., Aug. 22 (UPI) -- Western U.S. farmers are increasingly using inmates to harvest their fields as states crack down on hiring undocumented workers.
Colorado started sending female inmates to harvest onions, corn and melons this summer, and Iowa is considering a similar program, The Christian Science Monitor reported.
While inmates have worked for private farms in Arizona for almost 20 years, legislation signed this summer fining employers for knowingly hiring undocumented workers has brought growing numbers of farmers to the Arizona Department of Corrections for help, the newspaper said.
Unlike other sectors, where federal regulations require inmate workers be paid a prevailing wage and receive workers' compensation, agricultural companies can hire state inmates on a contract basis, the Monitor said.
The workers must get at least $2 an hour. Thirty percent of their wages go to prison room and board, with the rest going to court-ordered restitution for victims, any child support and a mandatory savings account.
The farms pay for transportation from the prison to the work site and for prison guards.
While farmers like the idea, the United Farm Workers of America says inmate labor undermines unionized labor.
"It's rather insulting that (Arizona) would look so poorly on farm workers that they would attempt to use inmates (to perform the work)," spokesman Marc Grossman says.
Just doing the harvesting that illegal aliens won’t do...
I like it. China does the same thing.
Inmates are people who are incarcerated by the government because of crimes they have committed.
Illegal alien workers are people who should be *deported* by the government because of crimes they have committed (laws against illegal entry).
Good. Better than lifting weights and watching television all day.
I would like to see them picking all the trash off the highways. And the really bad dudes should be scrubbing public toilets with a toothbrush.
I grew up in the area around southern Michigan prison and the prison used to use inmate labor to grow their own crops. I was only about 6 years old and I had an old .410 single shot (disabled). I used to take that out and “help” guard the cons as they worked on the other side of a single strand of barbed wire.
And if there still aren’t enough workers to bring in the crops, they can just arrest more!
I don’t like hiring out prison labor to private business. It muddies the waters and creates a conflict of interest.
Well if the people working the fields requested to be on the detail what is the problem with it?
I think the experience of an honest day of work would be good for them. Maybe a nice meal beyond the crap they normally get in prison for a hard days work?
Pelosi, Reid, and their Liberal moronic cohorts will be squealing like stuck pigs! It’s unheard of in DC to actually solve America’s problems. Congress ignores the American people while these worthless politicians suck up more power and feed their sick egos.
“And if there still arent enough workers to bring in the crops, they can just arrest more!
Well, don’t arrest any criminals. They are lazy and don’t do a very good job. Surely, we can get better convicts than that.
So does that mean food prices go down?
And where has this dip-stick been while all the illegals were pouring into the fields, the restaurants, the you name it...
Well, I guess there goes that "jobs Americans won't do" arguement, shot to hell.
Just following the trail laid down by Scarlett in Gone with the Wind.
"She ain't got nothin' but, nothin' but one safety pin holdin' that thing on. Come on safety pin, POP. Come on baby, POP!
It's stupendously insulting that Mr. Grossman and his ilk look so poorly on the U.S.A. that they would prefer to import illegal aliens to perform work that might actually do prison inmates, not to mention the rest of the country, some good.
The prisoners doing this have a choice.. the other choice is being locked in a cage the size of your bathroom for 23 hours a day. Of course they'll do it, they'd do it for free - which the 40 or 50 cents an hour they actually pocket essentially is.
OK, let’s use welfare recipients.