A tough new law cracking down on illegal immigrants and those who hire or “harbor” them has created a severe shortage of agricultural labor in Georgia right at harvest time.

  • metta

    Posts: 39155

    Jul 13, 2011 8:39 AM GMT
    A tough new law cracking down on illegal immigrants and those who hire or “harbor” them has created a severe shortage of agricultural labor in Georgia right at harvest time.


    http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2011/07/the-fruits-of-immigration.html
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    Jul 13, 2011 2:26 PM GMT
    When this stupid law went into affect I knew this would happened. The new law does not really crack down on those that hire the illegals. They get fined and still carry on as usual. No jail time no loss of business or revenue.

    Some partions of the law has been ruled unconstitutional because it is considered to be "racial profiling" because it only targets a certain racial group "latinos". ( the section that reads that local law inforce has the right to stop anyone,who looks like they are illegal and must show documention to prove their "status"!

    I'm half latino and I only carry my DL...if that's not good enough for some yahoo..I'll be deported to my father home country of Cuba!

    This law is just so "injusto y 'loco"!

    Like the author of this article said this is a lose, lose no body wins!

    Produced has more than doubled, since Gov Deal signed this bill.



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    Jul 13, 2011 2:59 PM GMT
    Like in my country something needs to be done, because we have a right to say, and maintain who moves in to our country's.; it's not the illegals call, and should never be!
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19138

    Jul 13, 2011 3:12 PM GMT
    If this is true that there is a glut of available agriculture jobs in Georgia, why can't there be some concerted effort to get those jobs filled by teenagers who can't find jobs, or people on welfare who are able to work these jobs.
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    Jul 13, 2011 3:36 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    CuriousJockAZ saidIf this is true that there is a glut of available agriculture jobs in Georgia, why can't there be some concerted effort to get those jobs filled by teenagers who can't find jobs, or people on welfare who are able to work these jobs.


    My thoughts exactly.

    Perhaps because it is easier being on 99 weeks of unemployment rather than working in the fields where the temperatures are in the 90s.


    You first!

    Also, many of these operations pay below minimum wage.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19138

    Jul 13, 2011 3:54 PM GMT
    Christian73 said
    southbeach1500 said
    CuriousJockAZ saidIf this is true that there is a glut of available agriculture jobs in Georgia, why can't there be some concerted effort to get those jobs filled by teenagers who can't find jobs, or people on welfare who are able to work these jobs.


    My thoughts exactly.

    Perhaps because it is easier being on 99 weeks of unemployment rather than working in the fields where the temperatures are in the 90s.


    You first!

    Also, many of these operations pay below minimum wage.



    That would still probably be more than many make on welfare. The sad reality is that many would rather take less and not have to work if given the option. Also, if a concerted effort were made to put people on welfare who are able to work into these jobs, the effort could also include that the employer pay them minimum wage. My point is that there are a great many people who are on welfare (whether it be hard times, uneducated, whatever) who are perfectly capable of working these jobs, so this "severe shortage of agricultural labor" in Georgia does not appear to be a problem that is necessarily insurmountable.
  • jim_sf

    Posts: 2094

    Jul 13, 2011 4:01 PM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ saidMy point is that there are a great many people who are on welfare (whether it be hard times, uneducated, whatever) who are perfectly capable of working these jobs, so this "severe shortage of agricultural labor" in Georgia does not appear to be a problem that is necessarily insurmountable.


    ...except that most of the unemployed/underemployed in Georgia are in Atlanta, and most of the agriculture in Georgia is not.
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    Jul 13, 2011 4:05 PM GMT
    ok so all these politicians and people trying to kick the illegal immigrants out and how they are stealing our jobs and how they take our tax money and blah blah blah well first of all if they're all kicked out we all know DAMN WELL that ain't nobody gonna go flocking to these tomato-picking jobs or house keeping jobs or dish washer jobs...you know what i mean and about the tax thing

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/taxes/2008-04-10-immigrantstaxes_N.htm


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    Jul 13, 2011 4:05 PM GMT
    CuriousjockAZ, farmers in GA are complaining the legal hires wear out after 7 hours of straight labour. The illegals are and have been willing to work 12 hours straight and at a fast clip, every day. In one article a farmer said that if he had to hire legals and pay appropriately the retail price of a cucumber would be $5.
    I think he was exaggerating.
    Yet, the industry has been operating with illegals for quite awhile and has become spoiled with the slave labour. So has the American consumer.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19138

    Jul 13, 2011 4:10 PM GMT
    dannylv saidok so all these politicians and people trying to kick the illegal immigrants out and how they are stealing our jobs and how they take our tax money and blah blah blah well first of all if they're all kicked out we all know DAMN WELL that ain't nobody gonna go flocking to these tomato-picking jobs or house keeping jobs or dish washer jobs



    You hit the nail on the head. Many Americans are not willing to work these jobs...they would rather receive a handout from the Government. So, just as the Government is cracking down on illegals, they should probably also be cracking down on freeloaders who are perfectly capable of filling those jobs.
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    Jul 13, 2011 4:17 PM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ said
    dannylv saidok so all these politicians and people trying to kick the illegal immigrants out and how they are stealing our jobs and how they take our tax money and blah blah blah well first of all if they're all kicked out we all know DAMN WELL that ain't nobody gonna go flocking to these tomato-picking jobs or house keeping jobs or dish washer jobs



    You hit the nail on the head. Many Americans are not willing to work these jobs...they would rather receive a handout from the Government. So, just as the Government is cracking down on illegals, they should probably also be cracking down on freeloaders who are perfectly capable of filling those jobs.


    hell yeah like make them work for their "benefits" i mean we are so spoiled here in america that we think we are entitled to all this free stuff from the government but as the saying goes "nothing is free in life" and it shouldn't be...
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    Jul 13, 2011 4:18 PM GMT
    Well, if it weren't for the human misery this is causing, I would laugh at the Republicans and their unintended consequences. They played to the extreme right-wing bigots, and now a State industry is suffering. Georgia is trying to fill the worker gap with probationed criminals, who aren't producing very much.

    The unemployed simply won't take these jobs, and you can't make them, despite what our Fascist colleagues here would like. I hope the harvest fails, and then the farmers can confront the Georgia legislature for doing this to them.
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    Jul 13, 2011 4:19 PM GMT
    meninlove said CuriousjockAZ, farmers in GA are complaining the legal hires wear out after 7 hours of straight labour. The illegals are and have been willing to work 12 hours straight and at a fast clip, every day. In one article a farmer said that if he had to hire legals and pay appropriately the retail price of a cucumber would be $5.
    I think he was exaggerating.
    Yet, the industry has been operating with illegals for quite awhile and has become spoiled with the slave labour. So has the American consumer.


    Yes. I couldn't have it better.
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    Jul 13, 2011 4:42 PM GMT
    Art said, "Georgia is trying to fill the worker gap with probationed criminals, who aren't producing very much."

    Wasn't this tried back in the Jim Crowe era? It ended up with all kinds of arrests on vague charges to fill the criminal labour pool.

    As an additional headache, produce (often irradiated to keep it fresh) is coming from China (one of the worst polluted environs there is) that North American producers can't match in cheapness.

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    Jul 13, 2011 4:51 PM GMT
    When I was a kid my uncle Jose loaded us all up and we went to the fields in Central California and we spent the day picking onions! It was brutal, I was 8 years old at the time. If you are not used that kind of back-breaking work you will wear-out period. You're talking about in Georiga HEAT!

    He wanted to give us a taste of what he and my mom had to do to earn money during the summer. Trust me when it hit high NOON we were begging him to get us back in to the city! We were pretty spoiled growing up.

    We got better understanding after that. I know I could not do that kine of work. So they are taking any jobs away from me.

    To force someone work in the fields for their benefits are risk lossing them, is a form of force labor...are kidding me and it would be challenged in the courts. Most people of color given our history with platations of Georgia would say NO THANKS! Cut me off!

    I knew this was going to happen when Georgia passed this law.

    What a lot of you don't know that most of the unemployed do not live in these areas where these large farms are, who are going to house and transport these people who would be force into this form of labor?

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    Jul 13, 2011 5:07 PM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ saidIf this is true that there is a glut of available agriculture jobs in Georgia, why can't there be some concerted effort to get those jobs filled by teenagers who can't find jobs, or people on welfare who are able to work these jobs.


    Absolutely.

    There are more people than most assume willing to do these jobs.
  • camfer

    Posts: 892

    Jul 13, 2011 5:12 PM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ said
    dannylv saidok so all these politicians and people trying to kick the illegal immigrants out and how they are stealing our jobs and how they take our tax money and blah blah blah well first of all if they're all kicked out we all know DAMN WELL that ain't nobody gonna go flocking to these tomato-picking jobs or house keeping jobs or dish washer jobs



    You hit the nail on the head. Many Americans are not willing to work these jobs...they would rather receive a handout from the Government. So, just as the Government is cracking down on illegals, they should probably also be cracking down on freeloaders who are perfectly capable of filling those jobs.


    It sounds like you are not talking from personal experience here.

    Honestly, most people are not capable of farm work. Each year I hire people to work on my farm, the ones who make it usually will tell me later in the season that at first, they would go home and literally cry from exhaustion. The pace is high and the duration is relentless. If you can't keep up, you're fired. Farming margins are so slim there's no time or money to try to bring people along to get them in shape for the work. It's perform or you're out.

    You really can't go from the couch to the field; you are physically incapable of keeping up. Really you can't even go from being gym-fit to the field. It's just too hard a work.

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    Jul 13, 2011 5:15 PM GMT
    Cool. NJ produces lots of agricultural items. Hopefully the Garden State will boom.

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    Jul 13, 2011 5:20 PM GMT
    First of all no teenager I know would last doing those jobs in that kind of heat. The other factor is where these jobs are located which is not in major cities in the State of Georgia. Most of these farms are located anywhere btw 50 to 100 miles out side of major cities in Georgia.

    It's one thing to pay lip-service as to what could and should happen but it's just not practicle.




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    Jul 13, 2011 5:25 PM GMT
    YOU SAID CAMFER! We city folk don't get it! If you have never done that kind work just can't do it. The incoherent thinking is since working in the field does not require any intellectual training that it's easy to transition to doing it! Well it's not. It does require a certain skill set, only an intellectual snob would think different.
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    Jul 13, 2011 5:41 PM GMT
    Hiring migrant labor is sort of weird and frustrating. I'm not convinced that a one-year regional shortage is due to any particular regulation. Sometimes weather oddities (like this year) mean, for example, that the crews are still in California working almonds or something when they would ordinarily be moving north to work cherries. Some years, it's just insane, having a whole years income out getting overripe in the fields and not being able to find anyone to help harvest.

    It's also true that hiring teens, or anyone else who's inexperienced, for farm work is sort of a loss leader. In our state, harvest workers are usually paid at piece-rate, and it's usually set so that good workers can make $10 - $14 an hour. Green teens, if they even show up, earn about $3 an hour by this method, so the state makes farmers make up the difference between that and minimum wage. This not only is economically unfeasible, but it really pisses off the guys who are working hard. (They think the kids are getting paid extra because they're gringos.) If you can convince them to come back every year, most people get into the rhythm.

    The long-term trend is to use mechanization to make more steady (rather than seasonal) jobs for fewer people. But there are still a huge number of crops for which there is not yet any mechanical solution.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19138

    Jul 13, 2011 5:47 PM GMT
    camfer said
    You really can't go from the couch to the field; you are physically incapable of keeping up. Really you can't even go from being gym-fit to the field. It's just too hard a work.




    I know, we Americans are so fragile. We need to be pampered. Let the illegals sweat their asses off in the field so we can get are cucumbers cheap icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Jul 13, 2011 6:07 PM GMT
    it must be because of the Republicans, who else but a fascist would want to pay $5.00 for a cucumber? if we were all liberal democrats everything would be Georgia peachy, unicorns would fart rainbows, and we would have plenty of illegals to mow our lawns.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Jul 13, 2011 6:15 PM GMT
    WARNING: sweeping generalizations going on in here...

    Let's keep in mind that our unemployed force lost manufacturing and even white collar jobs. Just because someone lost their job and expect a decent job commensurate with their previous earnings, experience and for some a college degree, doesn't mean we have to act all commie and dictate to them that they have to resort to hard laborious jobs that still doesn't pay a fair living for what their labor endures.
  • austex85

    Posts: 572

    Jul 13, 2011 6:17 PM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ said
    camfer said
    You really can't go from the couch to the field; you are physically incapable of keeping up. Really you can't even go from being gym-fit to the field. It's just too hard a work.




    I know, we Americans are so fragile. We need to be pampered. Let the illegals sweat their asses off in the field so we can get are cucumbers cheap icon_rolleyes.gif


    lol but ain't that the truth?