Immigration has always been a troubling subject for both Americans and immigrants themselves. It affect the country as a whole whether you believe for the the better or worse, but it seems to perhaps be the biggest factor in the world of agriculture. In an article called, Farmers Fear Legal Status For Workers Would Lead Them Off The Farm, not only can it affect the agriculture world if most of our immigrant workers are deported, but now them gaining residency and citizenship is also a threat seeing that they can now find better opportunities for themselves.
A melon farmer, Stephen Patricio, from the central valley has this exact concern when it comes to his illegal immigrant workers. He states in the article that he feels guilty that they are treated poorly for wanting to gain a better life for their families here in the U.S. but he is also worried that with citizenship from the state they will all decide that they can do much better than being a simple farm worker. Another fellow farmer, Manuel Cunha, who is based in Fresno is also stating that if farm workers leave to find better jobs now that they can have residency and job security, he is afraid that he will lose all his workers. For this, situation they want to get a guest worker program started where immigrants can come work as a guest, but not be given legal status.
Not every farmer blames immigration reform as a reason for losing workers and some try to focus on ways of giving the workers a better job stability in order to keep them from leaving. The guest worker program has yet to pass, but it seems that no matter what the situation is with immigration laws, it looks like it will always affect someone in a good way or a bad way.
What’s your opinion on the subject?
To read more on the subject, go to http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2015/02/26/387698016/do-your-veggies-depend-on-workers-who-lack-legal-rights