Before donating to Human Rights Watch, ask them about child labor on U.S. farms

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When it comes to immigration matters, far-left organizations love to complain about various downsides of a situation and at the same time support policies that make the situation worse. An example is offered by "Fields of Peril: Child Labor in US Agriculture", a recent report from Human Rights Watch [1]. If you're considering sending them money, please read the following first.

At [1], they discuss how children - pre-teens and even younger - are basically exploited and how they work in unsafe conditions, such as without protective gear. Then, they state:

Lax enforcement [of child labor laws] is exacerbated by workers' fears of reporting violations to authorities. Some 85 percent of crop workers in the United States are Hispanic. While many child farmworkers are US citizens, their parents may be undocumented or hold short-term agricultural visas, leaving the entire family in fear of deportation. Labor standards and their enforcement apply to all workers, irrespective of their immigration status.

Now, I'd like you (especially if you're considering donating to Human Rights Watch) to imagine what would happen if the only people working on farms were legal immigrants or U.S. citizens. The whole deportation aspect would be removed, giving employers much less control over those farmworkers.

Exploitation-prone employers are going to be far less likely to try to exploit U.S. citizens or legal workers, yet Human Rights Watch isn't calling for strict enforcement of our immigration laws. Instead, they support comprehensive immigration reform [2]. That "reform" would encourage more illegal immigration, leading to more of the exploitation that Human Rights Watch complains about. Many of the guest workers they support wouldn't leave but would remain here as illegal aliens, subject to the exploitation HRW complains about. If HRW were truly serious about ending exploitative child labor on farms, they'd take effective steps to encourage strict immigration enforcement. Instead, they're doing the opposite.

Before donating to Human Rights Watch, ask them to spell out in detail what they're doing to prevent various groups from trying to weaken the enforcement aspects of the "reform" they support, leading to a repeat of the current situation. In the unlikely event they provide an answer, leave it in comments here.


[2] From May 1, 2006's "Family, Unvalued" (

The United States urgently needs to enact comprehensive immigration reform-ensuring adequate and fair avenues for immigrants to enter the United States both temporarily and permanently and offering reasonable roads to legal status for undocumented immigrants already living and working in the country.