Take action now:

"America's produce industry is facing a crisis"

Nothing says propaganda like the annual whine from growers demanding more serf labor lest their crops rot in the fields. There have been a few recent newspaper articles about it, and the latest is "A drought of farm labor" (csmonitor.com/2005/1202/p01s03-usec.html).
"We are trying to sound the alarm without being alarmist, but the situation has become extremely serious," says Tim Chelling of the Western Growers Association, whose members grow, pack, and ship half America's produce. "We are now talking of losing the production of key commodities to foreign competition. America's produce industry is facing a crisis."

Although the shortage was worsening before 9/11, it's now extreme, Mr. Chelling and the three California farmers say. Without an emergency guest-worker program, they will be dramatically short of the minimum number of workers needed to harvest the current crop. Without long-term immigration reform that acknowledges America's reliance on foreign workers, farmers will not be able to make ends meet, they say.
Oh well. I'm sure they can figure something out, like for instance farm mechanization rather than relying on foreign serf labor. As an alternative, perhaps they could pay the full price for that labor, instead of paying a low wage and sticking everyone else with the true price.

Remember: anyone who sides with the growers in their search for "cheap" workers is supporting massively subsidized stoop labor and the abuse of illegal aliens. And, they also oppose high-tech innovations that would make farms more efficient and enable us to compete against countries where labor is even cheaper.

While many politicians are basically paid to be on the growers' side, do they really want to end up supporting everything that goes with it?

Related:
"The Mirage of Mexican Guest Workers"
Hanson on illegal immigration and guest workers
"The new grapes of wrath"
Miami Herald "endorses indentured servitude"

6/26/11 UPDATE: The CSM article is by Daniel Wood, and he starts with a relative of another frequent quote source from crops rotting in the fields articles, Jon Vessey:
Imperial Valley lettuce farmer Jack Vessey says it's the worst in his lifetime. Farther north in California's Central Valley, orange grower Manuel Cunha calls it the most constrained since before World War II. Coastal tomato grower Luwanna Holmstrom constantly worries about a repeat of two years ago, when she had to plow under $2.5 million in tomatoes left unpicked.

Fri, 12/02/2005 - 06:24 · Importance: 4

Sun, 12/04/2005 - 03:35
D Flinchum

" Agriculture has been the recipient of huge federal subsidies for decades. Everyone SAYS they're against it, but it has a powerful lobby. My guess is that this business lobby is more influential with politicians than John Q. Public" Ralph

Exactly, Ralph. Plus there is the "big issue" aspect. Agriculture's huge government subsidies are of major interest to those entities that receive them but are way down the list of things that the average citizen considers important. John Q. Public doesn't wake up and say, "What can I do today to end the agriculture subsidies." You can bet the Ag Lobbists aren't that disinterested.

One reason that illegal immigration has gotten the free ride that it has for years is that the relatively small number of people it "helped" - businesses and the ethnic/rights groups mainly - were more vocal with their legislators than the people it hurt. That is starting to change a bit.

Sun, 12/04/2005 - 02:53
Ralph

"My idea for businesses that want to hire these illegal workers is that they be forced to pay for all of their expenses."
Agriculture has been the recipient of huge federal subsidies for decades. Everyone SAYS they're against it, but it has a powerful lobby. My guess is that this business lobby is more influential with politicians than John Q. Public

Sat, 12/03/2005 - 22:29
DG

My idea for businesses that want to hire these illegal workers is that they be forced to pay for all of their expenses. I mean like if they get sick, the business is billed not the taxpayer. If their wife is up here same thing the business is billed for her expenses. And any children that they have that are in school all of the education costs are sent to the business to pay. I wonder how much these businesses would want to hire these illegal aliens then? Why should the taxpayer pick up the tab for all these expenses when it is the business that profits from their cheap labor. Let them pay.

Sat, 12/03/2005 - 07:00
D Flinchum

Ah, yes, the old "rotting crops" ploy! What we have to remember is this: The AgJobs section of the 1986 amnesty was full of fraud. The experts expected 400,000 applications and got 1.3 million. Part of the fraud was that people who were not into AgJobs worked the 90 days, applied for their papers, got them, and went back to their old jobs. Farm work is largely unskilled but very hard labor. Lots of turn-over, lots of injuries.
What we have to be careful of here is having AgJobs become the portal for all other unskilled labor. Come to pick strawberries, stay to hang drywall, work hotel/restaurant industry, etc

Sat, 12/03/2005 - 00:14
Fred Dawes

The Guest workers are a joke that is like saying Guest troops from a enemy country and mexico is one of many enemies of freedom, bush loves mexico because the people servile\submissive to the rats( read drug dealers )mexican oligarchies who are nothing but evil little INSECTS.( I will stop using Rats and start to use Insects after all a rat has something in common with a human )