After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the government checked the background of every farm worker in Camp Pendleton, where tomatoes have been harvested since 1940.Let me get this straight. There were illegal aliens working on a Marine Corps base, and I'm supposed to feel sorry for a company that was employing those illegal aliens? Is this a joke?
As a result, most of the workers were fired for being in the United States illegally. And the company -- Harry Singh & Sons -- lost $2.5 million in rotted crops.
The same fate awaits farmers across the country if Congress enacts an enforcement-only immigration bill passed by the House, said Luawanna Hallstrom, general manager of the California tomato company [and co-chair of the National Council of Agricultural Employers]
"Farmers moan and groan over what they allege is a shortage of legal agricultural workers. In fact, under current law, farmers can import an unlimited number of foreign ag workers using the H-2A visa," said Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., who heads a 104-member caucus pushing for stronger immigration controls. "Their true motive for breaking the law is that they want to reap maximum profit by paying substandard wages, not that there aren't enough workers."Hallstrom is also quoted in "Ag leaders advocate guest-worker program":
Last year, less than 50,000 H-2A visas were issued, accounting for a small fraction of the nation's 1.6 million seasonal farm workers. Employers complain that the program is expensive, cumbersome, time-consuming and not practical.
...Fruit and vegetable production in San Diego County would drop by about 40 percent if a guest worker program is not included in legislation being hammered out in Congress, according to Eric Larson, executive director of the San Diego County Farm Bureau...Previous coverage of crops rotting in the fields starts here.
...A guest-worker program would allow an agricultural employer to legally bring in workers when there are not enough willing or available workers to take those jobs, according to Luawanna Hallstrom, co-chairwoman of the Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform and an officer of the National Council of Agricultural Employers...
Immigration · Thu, 08/10/2006 - 04:08 · Importance: 1