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Farmers Oppose G.O.P. Bill on Immigration [Farmers Say E-Verify System Will Cripple $390B Industry]]
NYTimes ^ | July 30,2011 | ESSE McKINLEY and JULIA PRESTON

Posted on 07/30/2011 2:57:06 PM PDT by Steelfish

Farmers Oppose G.O.P. Bill on Immigration

JESSE McKINLEY & JULIA PRESTON July 30 Calif. — Farmers across the country are rallying to fight a Republican-sponsored bill that would force them and all other employers to verify the legal immigration status of their workers, a move some say could imperil not only future harvests but also the agricultural community’s traditional support for conservative candidates.

The bill was proposed by Representative Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican who is the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. It would require farmers — who have long relied on a labor force of immigrants, a majority here without legal documents — to check all new hires through E-Verify, a federal database run by the Department of Homeland Security devised to ferret out illegal immigrants.

Farm laborers, required like other workers to show that they are authorized to take jobs in the United States, often present Social Security numbers and some form of picture ID. Employers, many of them labor contractors providing crews to farms, have not been required to check the information and are discouraged by antidiscrimination laws from looking at it too closely. But it is an open secret that many farmworkers’ documents are false.

Supporters of E-Verify, an electronic system that is currently mandatory for most federal contractors but voluntary for other employers, argue that it would eliminate any doubt about workers’ legal status. But farmers say it could cripple a $390 billion industry that relies on hundreds of thousands of willing, low-wage immigrant workers to pick, sort and package everything from avocados to zucchini.

“This would be an emergency, a dire, dire situation,” said Nancy Foster, president of the U.S. Apple Association, adding that the prospect of an E-Verify check would most likely mean that many immigrant workers would simply not show up.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; News/Current Events
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1 posted on 07/30/2011 2:57:07 PM PDT by Steelfish
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To: Steelfish

BS I worked in Ag my whole life.

Farmers just want free labor.

Framing is the reason we face the immigration issues we do.


2 posted on 07/30/2011 3:01:26 PM PDT by NoLibZone (Life as Nancy Pelosi knows & wants it, must end, Life As Nancy Knows it is to raise Debt 10% annualy)
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To: Steelfish

BS I worked in Ag my whole life.

Farmers just want free labor.

Farming is the reason we face the immigration issues we do.


3 posted on 07/30/2011 3:01:58 PM PDT by NoLibZone (Life as Nancy Pelosi knows & wants it, must end, Life As Nancy Knows it is to raise Debt 10% annualy)
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To: Steelfish

It would require farmers — who have long relied on a labor force of immigrants, a majority here without legal documents —

- - - - -
Not in the part of farm country I live in (Plains/Midwest). Farmers hate illegals and don’t trust them around here.


4 posted on 07/30/2011 3:02:11 PM PDT by reaganaut ( "I once was lost, but now am found; was blind but now I see")
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To: NoLibZone
Well, yeah, framing and agrimculture as well.

Makes people feel bad.

(Snork).(/s)

5 posted on 07/30/2011 3:03:22 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Steelfish

They wouldn’t be breaking the law, by hiring illegals by any chance? Just wondering.

Are there economic consequences to following the law? Maybe.


6 posted on 07/30/2011 3:04:07 PM PDT by dhs12345
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To: Steelfish

While I totally favor governmental efforts to crackdown on illegal immigration, I do not think it is the job of employers to verify the legal status of their employees. You should be able to hire people without asking the DHS whether it is OK or not.


7 posted on 07/30/2011 3:04:32 PM PDT by RecoveringPaulisto
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To: Steelfish
There are other reasons to oppose this bill.
8 posted on 07/30/2011 3:05:00 PM PDT by OddLane (If Lionel Hutz and Guy Smiley had a lovechild together, his name would be "Mitt Romney." -KAJ)
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To: Steelfish

““This would be an emergency, a dire, dire situation,” said Nancy Foster, president of the U.S. Apple Association,..”

I am not sympathetic.

Truck farmers and orchardists hire illegals on a temporary seasonal or need basis, then let them go. These illegal aliens then are not working year round and the public, in the end, has to pick up the welfare costs.

There is a solution. Asparagus growers despaired of ever getting in their crops without illegal alien workers, and then an invention which allowed the harvesting of asparagus appeared, saving their businesses.

It can be done, and for the sake of the rest of the nation, it must be done.


9 posted on 07/30/2011 3:05:54 PM PDT by SatinDoll (NO FOREIGN NATIONALS AS OUR PRESIDENT!)
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To: Steelfish

How about the GOVERNMENT certifies the LEGALITY of ANYONE here FIRST!!!??? You don’t have the right (according to the gov’t) to work here? No job...THEN, if they are hired, you could go after the employers...


10 posted on 07/30/2011 3:06:53 PM PDT by goodnesswins
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To: NoLibZone

You perhaps have worked in agriculture your whole life...and how many years has that been. Also your profile says you are from California.....has it occurred to you that the socialist shittehole you live in is just one of 49 other states...Farming is not the reason that we face the immigration issues we do in the other 49 states...what a stupid statement!


11 posted on 07/30/2011 3:08:08 PM PDT by RVN Airplane Driver
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To: reaganaut

Not here in Tennessee! Our farmer’s smuggle them in by the truck loads to work the tobacco fields and other farm crops. They get a free pass from law enforcement. Our former sheriff even told his officers not to bother them. I haven’t seen his replacement take a stand against them either. I think we need to force everybody on the Welfare system (except the elderly and disabled) to work the farms and send the illegals packing.


12 posted on 07/30/2011 3:09:05 PM PDT by Melinda in TN (My goal in life is to be the person my dog thinks I am.)
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To: Steelfish

I expect the farmers to threaten us with, “You can pick your own damn peas!”, the way things are going in this country these days. There’s definitely too much whining going on our there.


13 posted on 07/30/2011 3:12:47 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (Hey Barry! Compromise this!!!)
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To: Steelfish

So the farmers are openly admitting they hire illegal immigrants and taking subsidies on top of that.


14 posted on 07/30/2011 3:13:16 PM PDT by PMAS
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To: NoLibZone

E-verify is just another ploy used by government to force employers to do the job they refuse to do.


15 posted on 07/30/2011 3:14:38 PM PDT by aimhigh
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To: Steelfish

As a non-farmer, I’ve still got to call BS here. I can see farmers worrying about partial enforcement, because then their less ethical neighbors using illegals will have a pricing advantage. But why would they gripe over real enforcement? If the price of lettuce goes up, so be it—the price of a lot of other things, like healthcare and taxes to cover education and incarceration would be going down. The farm products would still be sold, and the farmers wouldn’t be hurt.


16 posted on 07/30/2011 3:15:19 PM PDT by Pearls Before Swine
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To: Steelfish

As a non-farmer, I’ve still got to call BS here. I can see farmers worrying about partial enforcement, because then their less ethical neighbors using illegals will have a pricing advantage. But why would they gripe over real enforcement? If the price of lettuce goes up, so be it—the price of a lot of other things, like healthcare and taxes to cover education and incarceration would be going down. The farm products would still be sold, and the farmers wouldn’t be hurt.

Maybe I’m missing the factor of international competition... like from Mexican farms... but I don’t think that’s a major factor.


17 posted on 07/30/2011 3:16:25 PM PDT by Pearls Before Swine
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To: Steelfish

Well IF these farmers are now knowingly accepting false SS# and ID that means they are paying minimum wage.
Kinda makea a lie out of the “ working for low wages” whine they use.

there is a visa allowing an UNLIMITED number of LEGAL immigrants to come to USA to do Ag work

This is all BS


18 posted on 07/30/2011 3:16:46 PM PDT by RWGinger
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To: SatinDoll
I'm so sick of these hard luck stories by people who are systematically destroying this country.

NPR, in its typical fashion, had a sob story about Georgia blackberry farmers who lamented the fact that they couldn't find seasonal workers for their farms.

When the reporter asked the owner whether he would consider hiring parolees or raising his wages he told the correspondent that he would rather shut down his farm.

19 posted on 07/30/2011 3:17:36 PM PDT by OddLane (If Lionel Hutz and Guy Smiley had a lovechild together, his name would be "Mitt Romney." -KAJ)
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To: SatinDoll
Truck farmers and orchardists hire illegals on a temporary seasonal or need basis, then let them go. These illegal aliens then are not working year round and the public, in the end, has to pick up the welfare costs.

The term is "privatize profits/socialize costs". As you point out, they get the benefit of cheap labor, while the rest of us have to deal with the cost of the illegals.

I'm willing to pay a bit more for my cabbages. As you also point out, if they didn't have cheap illegal labor, it would create a market of picking machines, which would permanently solve the problem.

20 posted on 07/30/2011 3:19:30 PM PDT by PapaBear3625 (When you've only heard lies your entire life, the truth sounds insane.)
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To: Steelfish

There wouldn’t be an immigration problem if we eliminated the minimum wage and welfare. The farmers would find all the cheap labor they need. If they don’t pick, they don’t get paid.


21 posted on 07/30/2011 3:20:01 PM PDT by henkster (Ethanol belongs in a beer can, not a gas tank.)
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To: Steelfish
agricultural community’s traditional support for conservative candidates.

Dumb-ass city slickers will believe anything. Ask rather how Al Franken got elected in Minn, Conrad and that other moron in N Dakota, Tom Harkin in Iowa, Tom D'asshole for years in S Dakota, Dick Turban in Illinois, Sherrod Brown in Ohio. The list goes on. Farmers are the most collectivist demographic in America and always have been. Stupid NYawkers.

22 posted on 07/30/2011 3:20:50 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: Steelfish

Let the farmers use their subsidy money to pay for the subsidized wages taxpayers put out for their cheap labor. Open borders aren’t the answer to our agricultural problems.

Mexico needs its citizens at home to fight the revolution.


23 posted on 07/30/2011 3:21:52 PM PDT by pallis
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To: Steelfish

This is from the NYTimes.

Lies from front to end.


24 posted on 07/30/2011 3:24:15 PM PDT by Balding_Eagle
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To: Steelfish

If this bill would mean that Korean apples would become “cheaper” than SOME, SOME American farmer’s apples, what is the difference to the pocket-book of he who buys Apples? Zero or better than zero.

As George Washington once said, with respect to trade, and I’ll paraphrase it:

If a producer in another country can do it cheaper than a producer in our country, it is not to our long-term advantage to prop-up our producer for that item. The money a buyer will save buying the item is money the buyer will spend somewhere else here.

The entire infrastructure of illegal immigration is an infrastructure propping up economic inefficiency.

If immigration is needed for temporary work, it must still be LEGAL immigration, it MUST BE temporary, it MUST NOT include family, it MUST BE verifiable.

If that is not good enough for SOME farmers then they need to develop new business models and update themselves to newer harvesting processes.

No, we do not have to accept illegal immigration just to suit “the farmers” and we don’t have to accept unlimited legal immigration either.

The kinds of people and businesses we need for this economy to grow are businesses and people that employ the better educated and higher skilled people, skilled people who are here and skilled people of the world who could come here, for work that needed them HERE.

We do not need MORE low-wage-immigrant demanding businesses here. We do not need to support businesses models that depend on more low-wage immigrants here.


25 posted on 07/30/2011 3:24:43 PM PDT by Wuli
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To: reaganaut

By “farmers” they mean AIG and Cargill.


26 posted on 07/30/2011 3:27:17 PM PDT by normy (Don't take it personally, just take it seriously.)
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To: RVN Airplane Driver
Lots of illegals doing ag work here in Ohio. They migrate with ther season--start down south, pick whatever and work their way north as the harvest season works its way northward. End up probably picking apples, but only after picking vegetables, berries and whatever across the spread of the food belt.

Farmers are timorous. If they would try to hire Americans at what the market would require, they would only have to raise the price of a head of lettuce or bag of apples by a nickel or dime a piece. And the good PR would make everyone feel good about the extra spare change. But like I say, they are afraid.

27 posted on 07/30/2011 3:27:24 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: aimhigh

This. It’s not the job of employers to enforce the immigration laws. That’s one of the very few responsibilities that the feds do have under the constitution.

What’s next, having businesses make treaties?


28 posted on 07/30/2011 3:29:04 PM PDT by BenKenobi (Honkeys for Herman!)
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To: FlingWingFlyer
I pick my own damn peas now. All they take is a couple hours work in the early Spring. And they are better than anything I can buy.
29 posted on 07/30/2011 3:29:30 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: SatinDoll
Ah yes, you see the problem well.

As long as there is "cheap" labor available it will be used. When one must pay a respectable wage for labor then machines or techniques will be invented to eliminate the need for cheap labor thereby creating jobs in the machine or other industries for skilled, better paid labor.

Such is the brilliance of the free enterprise system. No one picks cotton by hand anymore.

30 posted on 07/30/2011 3:31:07 PM PDT by Aevery_Freeman (White Hetero Able Male (WHAM) a.k.a. NOT Holder's people)
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To: NoLibZone

Exactly. Couple the cheap labor with the subsidies and it’s no wonder there are many farmers living very comfortably, including some in my extended family.


31 posted on 07/30/2011 3:32:36 PM PDT by liberalh8ter
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To: Melinda in TN
” I think we need to force everybody on the Welfare system (except the elderly and disabled) to work the farms and send the illegals packing.”

Excellent idea. Also, I remember the days of prisoner chain gangs working picking up trash along side the roads and working the fields as well.

32 posted on 07/30/2011 3:34:20 PM PDT by proudofthesouth (Democratic Party - The party of genocide.)
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To: Steelfish

The farmers are unhappy because they know it will work. Period.


33 posted on 07/30/2011 3:36:54 PM PDT by tumblindice (Our founding fathers and their families: all armed conservatives)
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To: Steelfish

Imagine if there were no minimum wage.

Citizens who are willing to work for lower wages would do these jobs.

Illegal aliens would have no special value to farmers.

We would reduce unemployment.

Read Thomas Sowell...


34 posted on 07/30/2011 3:36:56 PM PDT by MV=PY (The Magic Question: Who's paying for it?)
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To: hinckley buzzard

Wait a minute...I grew up in Illinois...and how much lettuce, or vegetables or berries are picked in Ohio....I expect not much....where did you come up with that nonsense about migrant workers....now the picking of sweet corn is something that we in Illinois when I was a kid 50 years ago...was done by mexicans...in small numbers, but nevertheless they were there...and I expect most were legal!


35 posted on 07/30/2011 3:37:59 PM PDT by RVN Airplane Driver
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To: RecoveringPaulisto

“I do not think it is the job of employers to verify the legal status of their employees. You should be able to hire people without asking the DHS whether it is OK or not”

Let’s tell the states that they MUST NOT demand that you register possession and title of a motor vehicle; just let every guess whether or not they are buying a stolen car next time. /sarc

That’s no different than what you want to do.

So let’s see:

(a)Everyone knows we have an illegal immigration problem of a magnitude this nation has never seen, and;

(b) Everyone knows that the ability to illegally obtain employment here is what makes their continued illegal residency here possible;

but let’s NOT start at the one place they need and the one place that makes all that possible - the place that illegally employs them;

no, let’s not go directly to the source, let’s make it difficult for ourselves.

Why?

Are you suggesting an employer should not be able to accurately obtain accurate information about YOUR background when you are hired? Oh he, should!!!

And if you are in an industry RIFE with illegal activity, can he get a police background check on you too? Oh, he can?

Then why can’t we “E-verify” everyone?

There’s only one reason not to. To protect the illegal immigrant and prevent the illegal immigrant’s forced repatriation to their own homeland. There is no other reason. Just admit it.


36 posted on 07/30/2011 3:42:08 PM PDT by Wuli
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To: Steelfish

Tacit admission that the farmers are breaking the law and knowingly hiring the illegals. Find them, fine them, deport the workers.

I’ll pay more for my produce if I can be assured that they’re picked by Americans and/or LEGAL immigrants who pay all their taxes and have been screened.


37 posted on 07/30/2011 3:46:01 PM PDT by Two Kids' Dad ((((( )))))
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To: Steelfish

Ah, yes, where the rubber meets the road. When people suddenly realize that cheap labor is at steak, they go all wobbly on the illegal immigration thing.


38 posted on 07/30/2011 3:46:01 PM PDT by Wolfie
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To: Wuli

An employer should be able to obtain factual information about me, yes. My credit rating and non-existent criminal record are easily obtainable. However, the government should not mandate that an employer must check up on my background. I am not saying employers should not have the ability to check backgrounds, I am saying the government should not command

As far as motor vehicles are concerned: Motor vehicles that must be registered only if you intend on driving them on public roads. If a vehicle is not driven on public roads, it does not need to be registered. So, I suppose a contractor with the civil government (someone who receives public money) can be required to check up on backgrounds including legal status, and I believe they already are.


39 posted on 07/30/2011 3:53:20 PM PDT by RecoveringPaulisto
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To: proudofthesouth
Also, I remember the days of prisoner chain gangs working picking up trash along side the roads and working the fields as well.

We still do that here. :-) We see our County prisoners on the chain gang quite often picking up trash with armed deputies following them in a pickup truck. They don't work in the fields though.

Our farmers claim that not only are the illegals cheaper to hire they can also take the southern TN heat better. We tried hiring teenage boys to help with our hay several years ago and they spent most of their time passed out under a tree with cold rags on their heads from the heat. American kids have become too soft to work in the fields. Too many computers and video games.

40 posted on 07/30/2011 3:55:02 PM PDT by Melinda in TN (My goal in life is to be the person my dog thinks I am.)
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To: NoLibZone

Today’s farmer isn’t the same as your Grandparents. Both my parents grew up on farms. My Father on a subsistence one. Mother grew up on a huge one but they all worked all day. I lived on one until I was 5.

I had always liked farmers until I lived in Western Kansas for 5 years. To my surprise, no one liked them and that was real farming country.

Typically they spent all their time complaining about the government while driving brand new 4wd pickups and new luxury cars.

All of them were getting all kinds of government subsidies.


41 posted on 07/30/2011 3:55:33 PM PDT by yarddog
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To: Steelfish

The farmers are lying, there is 14 different programs to bring in illegal labor to work crops, the thing is the farmers want the cheap under the table illegal labor.


42 posted on 07/30/2011 3:56:30 PM PDT by org.whodat (What does the Republican party stand for////??? absolutely nothing.)
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To: Steelfish
Bush 1 and Bush 2 did nothing to seal the border with Mexico while in office. W did nothing about sealing the border while He was governor of Texas.

The federal governments interest is to allow Illegal immigration for tax revenue and a expanded voter base.

Truth is painful.

The American Sheep are too drugged and blinded to care to stop it.

70 - 100 million tax paying Americans were aborted since Rove v Wade as well as their aborted tax paying prodigy numbering into generations.

Somewhere in ancient texts these same words have already been written.

Human history repeats it stupidity.

43 posted on 07/30/2011 3:56:36 PM PDT by Musketeer
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To: Wuli
There’s only one reason not to. To protect the illegal immigrant and prevent the illegal immigrant’s forced repatriation to their own homeland. There is no other reason. Just admit it.

This is why Libertarians like CATO and Stossel must be ignored in any immigration debate. They are 100% detached from reality, and don't even heed their own idols such as Milton Friedman, who said you cannot have open borders with a welfare state (which we have in spades, even for illegals).

44 posted on 07/30/2011 3:58:23 PM PDT by montag813 (SECURE THE BORDER! http://www.StandwithArizona.com)
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To: NoLibZone

Farmers want their crops farmed and harvested. I know, I am one. The amount of labor dollars as a percent of the selling price of a pound of fruit is not material. I would glady pay double what I pay now for a secure source of labor because I can pass those costs on without greatly effecting the retail price to the consumer. It is naive to believe that the issue is money. People say if you increase the pay then you can get all the labor you want. Farms are in rural communities where there aren’t large population bases. South Carolina tried hiring welfare recipients and parolees to work in the field. About 1/3 quit after a couple of hours and the majority of the rest didn’t show up the next day. I want the borders secure as much as the rest of you but I also want to support my family, protect the business I have given my life to and to ensure that America isn’t importing all of it’s food from other countries. The answer is to guard our borders and put a viable guest worker program in place. Don’t know where you have worked NotLib Zone but you are very off base in your statement. This is a very difficult problem and to dismiss good hard working people who work the land as just greedy is flat out wrong.


45 posted on 07/30/2011 4:06:11 PM PDT by DirtyDawg (eat fruit)
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To: Steelfish

So these farmers do not mind having criminals working for them ? Are they not even concerned about the safety of their product ? From what I have seen here in Kalifornia, the employees that hire illegals experience the greatest number of robberies and thefts. When those illegals get desperate, they go to the places they know.


46 posted on 07/30/2011 4:13:24 PM PDT by justa-hairyape
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To: dhs12345

Your question raises a very good and generally misunderstood point dhs12345. When a prospective employee walks into my office looking for farm labor work and presents what appears to be a valid identification I hire him just as someone would hire someone at Microsoft. I submit all of the required paperwork to federal and state agencies and I pay wages and taxes as required by law. That is what every farmer I know does. I recognize there are bad players out there who take advantage of people and smuggle them in backs of trucks and pay below minimum wage but they are the minority. The law used to require us to notify the employee if we received a no match letter from SS and it was the employee’s responsibility to contact SS and get it corrected. If I terminated an employee because I receive a no match letter then I have opened myself up to a discrimination lawsuit. Bush tried to change the no match procedure to have the employer resolve the discrepancy with the SS but law suits from immigration groups and democrats derailed that. So even though I am completely following the law as it now exists, well meaning people including those on this board believe the farmer is the criminal here.


47 posted on 07/30/2011 4:26:32 PM PDT by DirtyDawg (eat fruit)
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To: Steelfish

Here’s what happens: The farmers have to pay a LOT more, maybe twice as much - Americans WILL do that work, for a price. Food goes up in price, maybe 20%. I don’t have a problem with that, if the Illegals really do go home. I do have a concern about whether those prices wind up increase our food imports...that must be prevented.


48 posted on 07/30/2011 4:27:41 PM PDT by BobL (PLEASE READ: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2657811/posts)
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To: DirtyDawg
I terminated an employee because I receive a no match letter then I have opened myself up to a discrimination lawsuit. Bush tried to change the no match procedure to have the employer resolve the discrepancy with the SS but law suits from immigration groups and democrats derailed that.

So if I wanted to get a job off the books, I can just give a farmer a bogus SSN and not worry about the number being valid?

49 posted on 07/30/2011 4:35:38 PM PDT by VeniVidiVici ("Si, se gimme!")
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To: OddLane

See, there you have it.

The Mexican migrant labor situation in California has been cruel in the past, just don’t know about the present situation. Those laborers were treated by the farmers in a very inhumane manner.

Someone I knew whose family came west from Oklahoma during the Depression told me his whole family used to work as migrant farm labor in the 30s, 40s, 50s and on into the 60s. He went to trade school, became an electrician and bought a home for a stable type of life. But sometimes he’ll dream about the poverty of growing up as farm labor, and he would wake up sweating.


50 posted on 07/30/2011 4:35:43 PM PDT by SatinDoll (NO FOREIGN NATIONALS AS OUR PRESIDENT!)
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