View Full Version : Farmers extort over illegal labor

04-09-2011, 06:55 PM

But there are bigger worries with this bill says Mike Carlton with the Florida Food and Vegetable Association. Carlton helps coordinate the temporary agriculture worker program better known as H-2-A. It provides Florida growers a legal way to hire non U-S citizen workers who would otherwise be in the country illegally.

H-2-A requires workers be paid a minimum wage of $9.50, along with housing and transportation. Carlton says that while it's a legal way of running things, it isn't cost-effective and the reason why probably many growers opt not to go the legal route. He adds the Senate Bill 2040, pushing for the use of E-Verify, would prevent illegal hirings but in change it is also a major threat to the U-S agriculture worker-force.

In the TV version we have Republican Greg Steube and some large scale farmer making excuses for hiring illegals.

An estimate 80% of Florida tomato pickers are indeed illegal aliens. Which is why I find it amazing that in the last two decades I have NOT ONCE seen an ad looking for farm labor. I haven't seen the school busses I saw when I was a child, school busses full of pickers who are picked up in the morning and brought back in the evening.

You're telling me that we can get illegal aliens to work with illegal paperwork, but we can't get a busload of unemployed people to go pick tomatoes? I don't believe it. They said the same thing about restaurant work, and when Sheriff Arpaio shut down that restaurant chain, the hiring fair they had shortly afterward yielded hundreds of legal American workers.

This bullshit has got to stop. They threaten us with higher prices, but that is not what this is about. This is about corporations and agribusiness exploiting illegal workers and pocketing the difference.

The illegals are breaking the law, but so are the people who hire them. The lawmakers who facilitate it may not be prosecutable as criminals, but they ought to be. They are selling us out and every one of those illegal aliens is costing us much more than a couple of extra cents per pound it might cost for tomatoes.

04-09-2011, 06:59 PM
Here's what Steube's website says is his position:

Illegal immigration undermines our laws, drains our economy and threatens our national security. I will work hard to stop illegal immigration, empower our local Sheriffs to enforce current laws, require businesses to use e-verifiy programs and support legislation similar to that recently passed in Arizona.

Once we have secured our borders, we can look to reforming US legal immigration procedures.

04-09-2011, 07:07 PM
The Florida Chamber of Commerce, for one, opposes mandating E-Verify for any private employers. Construction and tourism industry representatives have concerns, but the state’s principal agriculture lobby, the Florida Farm Bureau, is more direct.

“We are opposed to a mandatory E-Verify,” says Joshua Craft, assistant director of agriculture policy at the Florida Farm Bureau. “One of the reasons is because it’s not a 100% accurate program.”

Craft points out problems such as identity theft and the regulatory burden it could put on a small farmer who might need to hire 300 workers for six weeks.

These are Republicans opposing this. Yes, some Democrats oppose it too, but you expect them to.