Allied Grape Growers admits using illegal alien labor; McCain, Johanns

The latest in a long line of stories about farmers desperate for cheap foreign labor contains a public admission that should be a bit shocking and - if the Bush administration and most of Congress weren't corrupt - would result in an investigation. Instead, it results in face time.

From "Immigration laws threaten harvest" by Panos Kakaviatos:
California grape growers are facing a harvest crisis as stepped-up US immigration enforcement limits the labour pool.

Nat DiBuduo, CEO of Allied Grape Growers, held urgent meetings with influential US senator John McCain of Arizona and the US agriculture secretary Mike Johanns in June to lobby for change in US immigration laws.

'Border security has been a focal point of immigration reform, and labour is going to be short throughout California,' said Dibuduo, whose 600 growers supply about 100 winemakers throughout the state.

'In recent years we have been using more illegal immigrants for work that US citizens do not want to do,' DiBuduo told

But the problem is that labour costs are increasing.

'We are having a hard time enticing people to do this hard work, so we are encouraging lawmakers to pass a comprehensive immigration bill that would include jobs, such as a supervised program for workers to come into the US and then go back to their country or be eligible for US citizenship.'
If you get the chance, ask Johanns or McCain about this the next time they're in your area. Ask them to define "corrupt".

Previously in this series: "The Guardian: American crops rotting in the fields"


If your business plan involves using illegal labor, you may have to make some changes. The prisons are full of people who didn't think they should have to obey some law or other.
There are many, many business practices which are outlawed because they are deemed contrary to the public interest, even if they make the business more profitable.