Skip to comments.Fewer hands in the fields
Posted on 06/18/2011 7:18:07 PM PDT by Cardhu
Contractor Don Pedro like farmers across Georgia is worried that the state's tough new immigration law is scaring away an illegal immigrant workforce.
Reporting from Wray, Ga. It was a Tuesday afternoon at the height of blackberry season, and the Paulk family farm was short 100 pickers. It was Don Pedro's job to find them.
The Georgia Department of Agriculture this month released a survey of farmers who said they needed to fill more than 11,000 positions lasting from one day to a year. Critics of U.S. farming practices have long said Americans would take such jobs if they paid better.
Don Pedro said his job has never been so tough, nor workers so scarce. His boss had told the state Labor Department he needed pickers, but he had received no responses. He wasn't surprised, even though the jobless rate in Irwin County was 13%. Few here believe that native Southerners, white or black, wish to return to the land their ancestors once sharecropped or tended in bondage.
Pedro Guerrero, 54, the smiling, soft-spoken man in black cowboy boots whom everyone calls Don Pedro, was barreling down two-lane roads in a compact Chevy on a hunt for his own people. He was searching amid the trailers and tumbledown rental houses and mercados that have sprung up since the 1990s, when waves of Latinos began arriving in Georgia to harvest food, serve it in restaurants and scrape it from soiled plates.
Don Pedro kept one hand on the wheel. The other sorted paper scraps stuffed in the pocket of his Western shirt. On a flip phone, he punched in numbers for guys named Felipe and Miguel and Sixto, surfing an analog network of cousins and friends of friends and old sources who might know where the hard workers
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
Two things need to happen. The farmers need to pay a bit more and America’s lazy ass youth need to get out there.
It’s summertime. Hire high school kids. Hire from the ranks of the unemployed. Let them earn some money for once.
All welfare recipients near that place should get a medical exam for being able-bodied and if they are then should be put on workfare at that farm. The more typical story would be that they’d be mobbed with so many hopefuls they’d have to turn them away in droves.
yes, tell them it is one of the best green jobs
they could do. tell them it is about
nutritional sustainability and working
with diverse peoples. give them college
credits and tell them it is part of americorps.
they will lose weight and learn a skill.
Unfortunately the farmers have to compete with surrounding areas with less restrictive immigrant policies, as well as import product. They may even be losing green card holders who are choosing to migrate elsewhere to be with their non card holding illegale relatives. It might be a pitiful but economically more understandable choice to let the crop rot rather than harvest it and sell it at loss prices. In which case maybe it could be opened, with the help of good samaritan protection laws, to such agencies as Second Harvest.
You are probably right...
When I was a teenager we had to compete for those jobs.
Get rid of welfare.
100,000’s of the “original field workers” sitting idle in GA. Why can’t they be hired? —— Oh, I forgot that work would be beneath their dignity.
For crying out loud, these people are hurting. Get them some mexicans before they starve to death.
Why don’t you pay a bit more and get yore lazy old butt out there?
A few years back I was in town and stopped at a light. I looked over to see a white kid about 14 years old and 300lbs inhaling and ice cream cone.
In the yard was a middle aged hispanic man pushing a lawn mower around.
If they can’t get by without illegals to do the work then they have to modify their business plan. Pay a decent wage and people will work, simple enough.
Might make a difference the type of blackberry they were picking!
A sudden cut in the food stamp program might encourage some people to get out there and pick some berries, or whatever. Pay a little more, and stop counting on taxpayers to subsidize the help. I don’t know how it is in Georgia, but come black berry season in Washington, there is no shortage of people picking them and making pies. Maybe pay indigenous pickers in money and some of the goods. There has to be a way to do it without horribly expensive, subsidized Democrats flooding into the country. Get out of the rut.
The prisons are full of people who can pick berries. People that have nothing else to do and could defray some of the cost of their imprisonment.
Some estimates are that there may be as many as 20 million illegal aliens in America.
There are at least 15 million unemployed people in America.
Doesn’t it appear that we are importing a servile class to do certain jobs? And why are we as a society doing this?
Why do we have to listen to lectures about urban youth unemployment, and hear that there are “no jobs” and all that, when there are jobs out there?
Yes I know farm work and manual labor is hard work. Yes I know some people don’t want to do that sort of work. But for otherwise unemployable young people, for example, this sort of work could give them a stepping stone to the workforce, and better things in their future.
Anecdotal evidence is that places such as fast food, which used to hire lots of teenager and young adults, now hire people who were not born in this country. Why is that?
Why are so many jobs such as office cleaning now done by people who were not born in this country? There too, these are jobs that those with no skills could go to work everyday, do a necessary job, earn a paycheck, and set themselves up for better things for the future. But instead, certain jobs are dominated by those not born in this country. Why is this?
Years ago, many black women worked as domestics. Now relatively few do. That’s hard work, and not well paying, but here too, people not born in this country seem to dominate this category too.
The article is about farm work, and how illegals and/or those born elsewhere dominate that field, but the same concept applies to many other areas.
And to me, the frustration is that many of these jobs done by foreign born, legally here or otherwise, is that even unskilled poorly educated Americans could do such work.
I don’t know what changed with work ethics of people, or if certain employers prefer foreign born, but, there is a connection between the number of chronically unemployed people and the numbers of foreign born workers in this country.
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