Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Farm Labor Shortage Worries Farmers.

Updated 9/25/06

A shortage of farm workers due to tighter restrictions at the Mexican border is threatening the fall harvest.

"When farmer Kenyon Farley hears about the "crackdowns" on the U.S.-Mexico border, he worries about his apples.
Last fall, Farley couldn't find enough farmworkers to pick the "quality apples" off his trees - he needed up to 30; he only got 10. So he lost money. This fall, he's concerned seasonal workers from Mexico won't make it across the border to help with the harvest, resulting in harder times for already struggling farmers statewide. "

This Report from the Salt Lake Tribune exposes a side effect of the increased border surveillence which has received little consideration.

Update 9/25/06:

Another report from Raw Story and The Ledger tells of the loss of crops and the problems of trying to work under the Government's programs:

"The tightening of the border with Mexico, begun more than a decade ago but reinforced since May with the deployment of 6,000 National Guard troops, has forced California growers to acknowledge that most of their workers are illegal Mexican migrants. The U.F.W. estimates that more than 90 percent of the states farm workers are illegal.
Most California growers gave up years ago on recruiting workers through the seasonal guest-worker program currently in place. Known as H-2A, the program requires employers to prove they tried to find American workers and to apply well in advance for relatively small contingents of foreign workers for fixed time periods."

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