Despite Economy, Americans Don't Want Farm Work
My comments on this news:
Not all US farms use hired labor. Of those who do, an overwhelming percentage rely on immigrant, often illegal labor. Advertisements for US workers yield few takers, according to both growers and government agencies.
Some think these findings argue for enlarged "bracero" programs or for the current federal policy of turning a blind eye to illegal alien invaders. Other options are available, and here I mention a few.
1] Encourage technological innovation that substitutes mechanization for hand labor. Until the 1965 immigration law opened the flood gates to Third World labor, the University of California was home to many research programs that were mechanizing farm operations. These efforts ceased when it became cheaper to employee low-paid illegal and legal alien labor.
Innovation would revive if the flow of cheap labor were curtailed.
2] Enforce the 1986 immigration law that severly penalizes employers of illegal aliens. The family of Senator Diane Feinstein are among those who might find this inconvenient and expensive. Nevertheless, law enforcement would motivate employers to raise wages and offer benefits, thus attracting legal American labor.
3] Cut welfare and other public "social safety net" benefits to the unemloyed and their families who refuse agricultural job offers.
These are modest proposals but all have political opposition.