Saturday, June 4, 2011

Farmers: E-Verify a disaster for Americans

The agriculture industry fears a disaster on the horizon if the bit of new immigration policy that Congress seems to agree on becomes law.
A plan to require all American businesses to check their employees through E-Verify, a program that confirms that each is legally entitled to work in the U.S., could wreak havoc on an industry where 80 percent of the field workers are illegal immigrants.
"We are headed toward a train wreck," said Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a California Democrat whose district includes agriculture-rich areas.
Lofgren said that farmers want to hire legal workers and U.S. citizens but that it's nearly impossible given the relatively low wages and back-breaking work.
Wages can range from minimum wage to more than $20 an hour. But workers are often paid by the piece; the faster they work, they more they make. A steady income lasts only as long as the planting and harvesting seasons.
"Few citizens express interest, in large part because this is hard, tough work," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsak said last week. "Our broken immigration system offers little hope for producers to do the right thing."
Last year the United Farm Workers launched a Take Our Jobs campaign to entice Americans into the fields. But President Arturo Rodriguez said that of about 86,000 inquiries, only 11 workers took jobs.
"That really was thought up by farmworkers trying to figure out what is it we needed to do to show that we are not trying to take away anyone's job," Rodriguez said.
Manuel Cunha, president of Nisei Farmers League, a group representing growers in Central California, said farmers don't have the wherewithal to verify workers' status.
"If we were to use E-Verify now, we'd shut down -- either that or farmers would go to prison," said Cunha, a Fresno-based citrus farmer.
Shawn Coburn, a politically active farmer who grows thousands of acres of almonds in west Fresno County, said he favors tighter borders, a guest worker program and a path to citizenship for those already in the U.S., or at the very least their children. But, like Cunha, he believes that a mandatory E-Verify plan would be nothing but trouble for the industry.
"I don't think it's going to happen, but if it does it would throw the California economy for a loop," Coburn said.
Without a broad policy overhaul in the works, industry officials have focused on improving the H-2A temporary agricultural workers visa program, which is aimed at allowing seasonal workers to work on U.S. farms.
The program, is costly, time-consuming and inefficient, however, according to Cathleen Enright, vice president of federal government affairs for the Western Growers Association.
Lee Wicker, deputy director of the North Carolina Growers Association said the H-2A program "is too expensive, it's too litigious, it's too bureaucratic.
Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., said farmers in his area want to do the right thing and hire legal workers but are frustrated with the stifling bureaucracy that comes with the visa program.
"It's a labyrinthine visa process, with the slow walking of applications," Gowdy said.
"You could not by accident come up with a better plan to ruin the small family farm."
Farmers, he said, "are just at their wits' end."


  1. AH! The liberal so-called progressives and purportedly Democrats should all be evicted from Washington? No matter how they try, they cannot make the legal distinction between the right terminology of a foreign national who breaks our law, and a real immigrant? A real, bone fide immigrant comes to America packing an entry visa in their passport from the State Department, whereas an illegal alien slips past the poorly undermanned border fence agent in the dead of night or lies to a immigration inspector at any port of entry. THIS IS HOW TO DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN AN IMMIGRANT AND AN ILLEGAL ALIEN. Which really isn't the real border fence anyway, as it’s been concocted by a number of Texas Republicans and a whole bunch of Senators in Washington. Ask Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) how his law, enacted as the 2006 Secure Fence Act was destabilized and underfunded? If you went down at the Southern border, you wouldn’t be looking at the originally designed Rep.Hunters two main 15 foot fences adjacent to each other, with fast tracks in between for vehicles. All you would see is a single strand fence or perhaps nothing at all, except for some rusty barbed wire.

    Today it’s one fence that in itself is nowhere near completed? The Liberal Progressives in the media and even in Washington or State Capitols, are brain washing the American people, which is a misleading formula they have invented, to alienate Hispanics against patriotic Americans of all races.? It is untrue that Hispanics are in the cross-hairs as any illegal alien no matter their country of origin and who is in the US unlawfully, is subject to deportation. YES! By far the majority of illegal aliens come from South of the border, but 40 percent arrive via aircraft or ship; even the Northern border is not exempt? Annually thousands of Hispanics say the pledge of allegiance to the sovereignty of America, and they too have no love for people who break our timid laws. Indigenous Hispanics are against the economic invasion and also see it as a menace to their jobs, special the Latino-Americans who have always been here through generations, or only in the last 30 years? The Tea Party will stand and fight any form of Amnesty, under any misnomer name as with Immigration Reform. There cannot be any reward of a path to legalization for anybody breaking the laws,offering citizenship rights just further encourages millions more to try and reach here.

    As it’s no longer just people from other countries that are arriving here for jobs, but illegal aliens with economical intentions? They have tutored in immigration law, knowing once on American soil the taxpayers will pay for their every need. If a pregnant woman has her baby here she is guaranteed welfare and public services and the baby/babies collect entitlements and citizenship paid for by you. States that do not vote in policing laws, will soon adversely benefit from the hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of aliens deserting states that are no longer friendly and have realized the billions of dollars their spending on this economic parasites.

    Here is the ongoing facts about Presidential Wanabee's, as Stated by Tom Tancredo: (I have added the immigration Grading system as of 05/18/11 from NumbersUSA.)

    President Barach Obama (F-) has gravitated to the Liberal left on illegal immigration, although it has transpired he has done more on interior enforcement than the previous president. However the border fence is still wide open in thousands of miles along the border region.

  2. Rep. Ron Paul (F-) has taken a sharp left turn on immigration, which I highlighted in a recent column, and refuses to back meaningful immigration enforcement measures such as mandatory E-Verify for all employers. Gov. Mitt Romney (D) supported the McCain-Kennedy amnesty plan, before he was against it, and has avoided the issue in all of his campaign statements. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (D) supports a "robust" guest-worker program and a comprehensive amnesty. Sen. Rick Santorum (F) voted against creating a voluntary E-Verify system and has consistently stated America needs to increase immigration to fix Social Security. Gov. Sarah Palin (D-) has outlined a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens. Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, (C+) who has a respectable but limited record on the issue in Minnesota, has consistently ignored it on the campaign trail. Herman Cain (D+) in NumbersUSA grading as he is committed to interior enforcement and apposes amnesty legislation.

    If Rep. Michele Bachmann (B+) enters the presidential race, as she has consistently apposed illegal immigration and any kind of amnesty up to this point.

    The TEA PARTY see this law as the most expensive aspect of illegal immigration and it will only be cured in the courts, insisting that one parent must be either a naturalized citizen or birthright citizen. The TEA PARTY is building a better America, without government being a mass interference in all of our lives and returning more management to states. By reducing illegal immigration the burden of ever higher taxes should stop accelerating. Another future issue that must be reduced is overpopulation growth. This is yet another accelerating issue, which is draining our energy supplies, the crumbling of our infrastructure, and the ongoing need for more oil, timber for more housing and the need for drinking water. The oath by all politicians to protect the American people means nothing, if our borders are not secured, with “Boots on the ground" of 5000 national guardsman. The final aspiration is that illegal aliens are voting and demeaning citizen’s ultimate rights, through intentional or by error. This has been condoned by Acorn or mostly carefully contrived be organizations, to alter the direction of any election and must be seen as a serious menace to our sovereign nation.