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Guest
Posted: Thursday, August 05, 2010 3:40:41 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 537,774
Magical_felix wrote:
LushPrincess wrote:
This topic hits close to home and for now I’ll just stick to calling BULLSHIT on the whole “they take our jobs!” Line.

I like your posts Felix, but I really don’t know any farm hands that make $9.00 bucks an hour, hell not even the foreman makes that much; and since you bike and all the other unemployed “citizens” want a job so bad, here’s a link that should help you out. http://www.takeourjobs.org/

The reality of the situation is this, if you’re sitting at home making $200.00 off unemployment in your nice, cool air conditioned living room. Chances are you’re not getting up off that couch to work the fields 12 – 14 hours a day for the same amount… Yet, that low life illegal you want deported will, and he/she will feel his/her family and handle his business without complaining.


I don't know how things in the Arizona Agriculture industry are but in Northern California 9 bucks an hour is the norm for the regular ranch workers. The foremans can make up to 12.50 an hour and the supervisors up to 15. There's a lot of money in farming, especially wine grapes. It's a hard job and if you've ever done it you'll feel that even at 10 bucks an hour you're underpaid. I wish you guys could see how many Americans are not willing to take a 9.25/hour job minimum 50 hours/week because they feel it's too hard. They want to start as foremans in a nice big truck without learning the ropes. I've done agriculture my whole life, I grew up in a vineyard... This is the way it is in California. Any farmer wishes to have Americans working for them that don't have the hurdles that illegals do but they are nowhere to be found. It's like this in the wineries too...


I have to wonder Felix, if it's because the cost of living is so high in California? It's high here in Florida as well and some of the citrus growers pay less than that. More like 5.00 per hour. Mostly they pay by what they can produce. Per basket I mean. The faster you go, the more you make. Then of course there's working in the citrus plants. But you more or less have to be legal to work in them. Some of our growers have housing, transportation and food allowance as well. Depends on the farmer.
SixtyMinuteMan
Posted: Thursday, August 05, 2010 4:52:05 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 6/6/2010
Posts: 119
Location: San Diego, United States
According to the USDA, the average farm worker wage in California is $6.17/hour, slightly higher than the national average. Because harvest workers only work an average of about 1000 hours a year, they earn well below the poverty limit in even the poorest states.

Here's a nice article for those interested in this lucrative and exciting career: http://careers.stateuniversity.com/pages/10/Farm-Laborer.html
Guest
Posted: Thursday, August 05, 2010 5:15:59 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 537,774
SixtyMinuteMan wrote:
According to the USDA, the average farm worker wage in California is $6.17/hour, slightly higher than the national average. Because harvest workers only work an average of about 1000 hours a year, they earn well below the poverty limit in even the poorest states.

Here's a nice article for those interested in this lucrative and exciting career: http://careers.stateuniversity.com/pages/10/Farm-Laborer.html


That was interesting. Thank-you.
SixtyMinuteMan
Posted: Thursday, August 05, 2010 6:57:34 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 6/6/2010
Posts: 119
Location: San Diego, United States
chefkathleen wrote:
That was interesting. Thank-you.


Happy to help, Marine.
Magical_felix
Posted: Friday, August 06, 2010 12:17:06 AM

Rank: Wild at Heart

Joined: 4/3/2010
Posts: 4,908
Location: California
chefkathleen wrote:
Magical_felix wrote:
LushPrincess wrote:
This topic hits close to home and for now I’ll just stick to calling BULLSHIT on the whole “they take our jobs!” Line.

I like your posts Felix, but I really don’t know any farm hands that make $9.00 bucks an hour, hell not even the foreman makes that much; and since you bike and all the other unemployed “citizens” want a job so bad, here’s a link that should help you out. http://www.takeourjobs.org/

The reality of the situation is this, if you’re sitting at home making $200.00 off unemployment in your nice, cool air conditioned living room. Chances are you’re not getting up off that couch to work the fields 12 – 14 hours a day for the same amount… Yet, that low life illegal you want deported will, and he/she will feel his/her family and handle his business without complaining.


I don't know how things in the Arizona Agriculture industry are but in Northern California 9 bucks an hour is the norm for the regular ranch workers. The foremans can make up to 12.50 an hour and the supervisors up to 15. There's a lot of money in farming, especially wine grapes. It's a hard job and if you've ever done it you'll feel that even at 10 bucks an hour you're underpaid. I wish you guys could see how many Americans are not willing to take a 9.25/hour job minimum 50 hours/week because they feel it's too hard. They want to start as foremans in a nice big truck without learning the ropes. I've done agriculture my whole life, I grew up in a vineyard... This is the way it is in California. Any farmer wishes to have Americans working for them that don't have the hurdles that illegals do but they are nowhere to be found. It's like this in the wineries too...


I have to wonder Felix, if it's because the cost of living is so high in California? It's high here in Florida as well and some of the citrus growers pay less than that. More like 5.00 per hour. Mostly they pay by what they can produce. Per basket I mean. The faster you go, the more you make. Then of course there's working in the citrus plants. But you more or less have to be legal to work in them. Some of our growers have housing, transportation and food allowance as well. Depends on the farmer.


Well the minimum wage in Cali is 8.00/hour so 9.00 an hour is still prettty shitty pay but they work a lot of hours and get by just fine. They also tend to live 5-7 guys in an apartment so they can save as much money as they can to take back to Mexico and start a business down there.

My knowledge is limited to wine grapes. It's a very hard fruit to farm so the workers are fairly skilled. At harvest these guys work in crews of five to fill 2 ton gondolas. The ton is paid at 120.00 bucks and a good crew of five plus the tractor driver can do one every hour. That comes out to 40 bucks an hour... But it is fucked up back breaking labor.



SixtyMinuteMan
Posted: Friday, August 06, 2010 1:15:34 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 6/6/2010
Posts: 119
Location: San Diego, United States
Not to seem like I'm picking on you, there, Felix, but $40 divided by six, for the crew and the driver, is $6.67. And whatever they're making, the grape harvest is about six weeks long, which is very generously 360 hours of work. I'm not sure what business you're going to open on a couple grand.

And FWIW, most undocumented migrant farm workers don't actually go back to Mexico. The cost of the crossing is enormous, way beyond what they make in a year, and the risks are very real. When you see the big caravans of workers with Mexican license plates, those are the documented folks.

That's part of the reason the various proposed reforms- like John McCain's back when he was something other than a creature of the radical party line- always fail. Someone proposes that the process should include everyone who's been here for, say, four years, and it turns out that that's the vast majority of undocumented immigrants. And of course we can't let four million or so Mexicans be absorbed into our 309million-strong population. Why, that would be...er... less than a percentage and a half of the total population. I mean, damn those dirty wetbacks, that's... um... statistically insignificant. So what if the effect on our economy would be positive and the effect on the labor market would be to raise farm worker's wages back to an actual living wage by giving all the workers legal standing and the basic right to negotiate, thus letting a fair market set their wages, we've got to keep those...

Meh. I can't even do it in jest. Rant failure.

This is another one of those things that's kind of a double-edged argument for me. On the one hand, the idiot right screams "amnesty! amnesty!" when that's not even on the table. No one's proposed it, not the President or Nancy Pelosi or whoever else they're on about this week. Reform =/= amnesty. So it's a completely baseless accusation.

On the other hand, I dearly wish someone would propose amnesty. General and total. Even with the damage the Bush era did to our economy, we'd never notice the population increase in any negative way. For fuck's sake, they're already here working. Let them have the same protections from abuse and access to life as the rest of us.
MrNudiePants
Posted: Friday, August 06, 2010 5:40:34 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/10/2009
Posts: 2,141
Location: United States
Slight correction in the math here, folks. If I'm figuring correctly, six guys can earn $120 an hour (if they bust their collective asses). That divides out to $20 an hour. Not $40 or $6.67. I don't know how many hours they work per day or per week, and I don't know what the tax rate is there, so I can't go any farther. While $20 an hour seems good pay, only being able to earn it for a few months out of the year would suck. Perhaps this is why very few successful entrepreneurs started out working in the fields.

Magical_felix
Posted: Friday, August 06, 2010 7:14:29 AM

Rank: Wild at Heart

Joined: 4/3/2010
Posts: 4,908
Location: California
MrNudiePants wrote:
Slight correction in the math here, folks. If I'm figuring correctly, six guys can earn $120 an hour (if they bust their collective asses). That divides out to $20 an hour. Not $40 or $6.67. I don't know how many hours they work per day or per week, and I don't know what the tax rate is there, so I can't go any farther. While $20 an hour seems good pay, only being able to earn it for a few months out of the year would suck. Perhaps this is why very few successful entrepreneurs started out working in the fields.


haha actually one more math correction. If you read my post I stated that the ton is paid at 120 an hour. They fill a two ton gondola in about an hour so 2 x 120 is 240 right? 240 divided by 6 is 40 isn't it?

And the harvest days are only 4 or five hours in the early morning so that the grapes get to the winery early. So they can pull in 160 bucks a day when the grapes are plentyful. Sometimes the vines have very little grapes and it takes a lot longer to fill two tons and they pay an hour gos way down. It varys a lot but it still isn't bad.



Magical_felix
Posted: Friday, August 06, 2010 7:23:00 AM

Rank: Wild at Heart

Joined: 4/3/2010
Posts: 4,908
Location: California
SixtyMinuteMan wrote:
Not to seem like I'm picking on you, there, Felix, but $40 divided by six, for the crew and the driver, is $6.67. And whatever they're making, the grape harvest is about six weeks long, which is very generously 360 hours of work. I'm not sure what business you're going to open on a couple grand.

And FWIW, most undocumented migrant farm workers don't actually go back to Mexico. The cost of the crossing is enormous, way beyond what they make in a year, and the risks are very real. When you see the big caravans of workers with Mexican license plates, those are the documented folks.

That's part of the reason the various proposed reforms- like John McCain's back when he was something other than a creature of the radical party line- always fail. Someone proposes that the process should include everyone who's been here for, say, four years, and it turns out that that's the vast majority of undocumented immigrants. And of course we can't let four million or so Mexicans be absorbed into our 309million-strong population. Why, that would be...er... less than a percentage and a half of the total population. I mean, damn those dirty wetbacks, that's... um... statistically insignificant. So what if the effect on our economy would be positive and the effect on the labor market would be to raise farm worker's wages back to an actual living wage by giving all the workers legal standing and the basic right to negotiate, thus letting a fair market set their wages, we've got to keep those...

Meh. I can't even do it in jest. Rant failure.

This is another one of those things that's kind of a double-edged argument for me. On the one hand, the idiot right screams "amnesty! amnesty!" when that's not even on the table. No one's proposed it, not the President or Nancy Pelosi or whoever else they're on about this week. Reform =/= amnesty. So it's a completely baseless accusation.

On the other hand, I dearly wish someone would propose amnesty. General and total. Even with the damage the Bush era did to our economy, we'd never notice the population increase in any negative way. For fuck's sake, they're already here working. Let them have the same protections from abuse and access to life as the rest of us.


A couple grand? Some of these guys stay here for 8 years saving half of their money the entire time. Going back into Mexico is a whole lot easier than coming into the USA too... Business in Mexico is a lot simpler than it is here. Someone can deck out their garage into a little tortilla factory very cheaply and hire their cousins to make the tortillas. Anyway, it's what they do (the serious ones) no matter what you read on wikipedia or whatever...



MrNudiePants
Posted: Friday, August 06, 2010 8:17:14 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/10/2009
Posts: 2,141
Location: United States
Magical_felix wrote:
MrNudiePants wrote:
Slight correction in the math here, folks. If I'm figuring correctly, six guys can earn $120 an hour (if they bust their collective asses). That divides out to $20 an hour. Not $40 or $6.67. I don't know how many hours they work per day or per week, and I don't know what the tax rate is there, so I can't go any farther. While $20 an hour seems good pay, only being able to earn it for a few months out of the year would suck. Perhaps this is why very few successful entrepreneurs started out working in the fields.


haha actually one more math correction. If you read my post I stated that the ton is paid at 120 an hour. They fill a two ton gondola in about an hour so 2 x 120 is 240 right? 240 divided by 6 is 40 isn't it?

And the harvest days are only 4 or five hours in the early morning so that the grapes get to the winery early. So they can pull in 160 bucks a day when the grapes are plentyful. Sometimes the vines have very little grapes and it takes a lot longer to fill two tons and they pay an hour gos way down. It varys a lot but it still isn't bad.


Got it. I totally missed the "two-ton" part. It's still not something I'd like to stake my bankroll on.

Magical_felix
Posted: Friday, August 06, 2010 8:46:33 AM

Rank: Wild at Heart

Joined: 4/3/2010
Posts: 4,908
Location: California
MrNudiePants wrote:
Magical_felix wrote:
MrNudiePants wrote:
Slight correction in the math here, folks. If I'm figuring correctly, six guys can earn $120 an hour (if they bust their collective asses). That divides out to $20 an hour. Not $40 or $6.67. I don't know how many hours they work per day or per week, and I don't know what the tax rate is there, so I can't go any farther. While $20 an hour seems good pay, only being able to earn it for a few months out of the year would suck. Perhaps this is why very few successful entrepreneurs started out working in the fields.


haha actually one more math correction. If you read my post I stated that the ton is paid at 120 an hour. They fill a two ton gondola in about an hour so 2 x 120 is 240 right? 240 divided by 6 is 40 isn't it?

And the harvest days are only 4 or five hours in the early morning so that the grapes get to the winery early. So they can pull in 160 bucks a day when the grapes are plentyful. Sometimes the vines have very little grapes and it takes a lot longer to fill two tons and they pay an hour gos way down. It varys a lot but it still isn't bad.


Got it. I totally missed the "two-ton" part. It's still not something I'd like to stake my bankroll on.


I don't blame you. Most Americans don't want to stake their bankroll on it either. That's kind off why agriculture in America is dependant on (Mostly) Mexican labor.



myself
Posted: Friday, August 06, 2010 8:59:59 AM

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Joined: 3/17/2010
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Location: .showyourdick.org/
Having been born in Tucson, AZ and raised in the Southwest and California, I can give a little insight to this discussion.

Bare with me and let me start at the beginning.

There is, and has always been a problem controlling the flow of illegals into our boarder states. The job is huge in there is no way to police the miles of deserted desert terrain and also, where there's a will, there's a way. The majority of people coming into our country illegally are for the most part desperate.

I have spent some time across the border and can tell you what I've seen. While taking a trip across Mexico to the west shore, we drove through whole towns in the middle of the desert that were made out of cardboard. It blew my mind and broke my heart that there's really hundreds of human beings living in this way right next door to us.

I know we have people in our country just as bad off but, suffering is suffering.

For the most part, I have known the the Mexicans in my communities. Growing up with the people showed me inside their clean homes, filled with respectful children and elders gathered in kitchens with dirt floors polished to a shine.

Don't get me wrong. There is definitely a crime element that we haven't been able to control for multiple reasons.

The border patrol is under staffed at best if not practically nonexistent compared to the numbers they stand up against.

And like all drug/gang going ons, supply and demand fuel the problem and as well, this particular problem involves our own citizens breaking our laws. And don't all communities around the world have the same problems?

In the real world, the border patrol drive by the workers in the 100plus degrees fields leaving themselves to concentrate on people that are up to no good. What is the point of waging war on generations of people that are, and that have been for hundreds of years, productive 'citizens' of our country? There in no good point for this! These people are our neighbors literally. They have lived and worked along side the rest of the immigrants that make up our country from the beginning.

How do we fight the border war and be fair? Can we get our heads out of our asses and see this as it really is? Are we gonna help Arizona do their job the best way they know how? They are the experts here as they have been the most responsible ones for a long time.

As for the legalization issue -the government will do what they do best. They will make laws and the people in the real world will deal with the problems the best they can.


New Arizona State Flag


Torture the data long enough and they will confess to anything.
LadyX
Posted: Friday, August 06, 2010 9:00:07 AM

Rank: Artistic Tart

Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,827
Magical_felix wrote:
MrNudiePants wrote:

Got it. I totally missed the "two-ton" part. It's still not something I'd like to stake my bankroll on.


I don't blame you. Most Americans don't want to stake their bankroll on it either. That's kind off why agriculture in America is dependant on (Mostly) Mexican labor.


man, that statement says a ton, doesn't it?
MrNudiePants
Posted: Friday, August 06, 2010 9:18:50 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/10/2009
Posts: 2,141
Location: United States
LadyX wrote:
Magical_felix wrote:
MrNudiePants wrote:

Got it. I totally missed the "two-ton" part. It's still not something I'd like to stake my bankroll on.


I don't blame you. Most Americans don't want to stake their bankroll on it either. That's kind off why agriculture in America is dependant on (Mostly) Mexican labor.


man, that statement says a ton, doesn't it?



BOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! bootyshake


ROFL!

LadyX
Posted: Friday, August 06, 2010 10:27:36 AM

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Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,827
LOL I wish I'd done that on purpose! But I'm just not as think as you smart I am.d'oh!
SIL50
Posted: Friday, August 06, 2010 1:04:02 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 9/3/2009
Posts: 62
Location: Alabama
AS was stated earlier the key word here is illegal. I support anyone who comes here legally as many of my friends are naturalized citizens. But to sneak in then be able to benifit from the same free services provided to citizens by the govt. at taxpayers expense is absurd. Legal immigrants fill a labor niche the average Americian won't even look at een in these times. So my hats off to them, and even they should stand up against illegals. Oh and for the record Ii speed and pay a heavy price when I get caught. Sorry if this rambles or is hard to follow.
WellMadeMale
Posted: Friday, August 06, 2010 1:36:19 PM

Rank: Constant Gardener

Joined: 9/30/2009
Posts: 10,301
Location: Cakeland, United States
Perhaps America should return to a successful formula for free immigration to enter this country. The PTB (powers that be) would just award parcels of land to many of those entering this country, by whatever means, as long as the newbies promised to develop that land and make it prosperous.

It worked so well the last time 'we' did that.

Unless you and your people lived on this continent for several thousand years and experienced your land being stolen from you, by trickery, brute force, or just murder.

My European fleeing ancestors really made out pretty good, back in the late 1800s, with this procedure. All they had to do was allow someone to change the spelling of their six syllable surname, to get the process started. * I forgot to mention the bribe$ which were paid along the way. Yes, there was corruption, even in 1871.

But seriously (as if the above wasn't serious)...American's will brag about being the world's melting pot (when it can serve their self-image). When it comes to actually doing, instead of paying lip service, it's sometimes a whole different kettle of fish.

I have heard from a few people, that the entire process of becoming a legal immigrant is a fcking nightmare of red tape which lasts a very, very long time. Is it possible that the American congress or the INS itself has intentionally created a quagmire?

Is this the 'legal' number or quota of authorized/allowed immigrants per year still set at the absurdly low total of 700,000 ?

I don't know...I'm asking if anyone knows. I heard from my All-American friend who married an Egyptian woman in 2007 that it took them nearly 22 months for her to get her papers just to live here in America, full time as his wife. He never indicated that she 'has' to become a US citizen for a longer/permanent stay...but if there is even more horseshit/paperwork/regulations for him and her to comply to and satisfy...I can see why there is an illegal alien issue.

http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/historyonline/immigration_chron.cfm


If ya can't beat 'em... pay someone to do it for you.
LadyX
Posted: Friday, August 06, 2010 3:29:46 PM

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Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,827
WellMadeMale wrote:

I have heard from a few people, that the entire process of becoming a legal immigrant is a fcking nightmare of red tape which lasts a very, very long time. Is it possible that the American congress or the INS itself has intentionally created a quagmire?


I already believe that most in government don't have any intention of any kind of immigration reform, so I probably should just go ahead and believe this, too. I can't think of any reason why it should be as hard as it is to do it legally, assuming you're not of privileged connections or a university graduate- where magically the red-tape gets a lot thinner.

I'm in the same boat with you, WMM- I'm obviously not a customs officer or a member of congress, but I did grow up around people who struggled in some way or another with immigration. The stories you hear about impossible red-tape and several years-long waits for legal immigration are true. I've accepted that there is a sharp divide in this country about immigration, and neither side is really going to come around to the other. So, from my point of view, if you're wanting to drive a hard line about immigration, and keep hammering that it's wrong, then that's fine. For that matter, I agree with you that it's 'wrong' as far as breaking the law is concerned. And if you turn a blind eye to the reason why people do it, and the fact that doing it legally is impossible for most of them, then this must be a pretty easy issue to feel so sure about. You can sleep at night knowing you are right and all those horrible criminals are wrong.

But now that we've mounted the moral high horse about it, now what? Send them back? How do you do that, knowing they'll come right back, since their fate in that country is poverty and/or danger? Do you separate parents from children, or do the children get sent back with them? Do you really want to test, in real time, the theory that the economy and the stability of life wouldn't suffer at all with the sudden disappearance of all undocumented labor? Do you really want to close off the country at this point, and make the saying on the statue of liberty just a relic from the way this country used to treat those that came here in search of a better life, all while making it no easier or possible to do so legally?

It was a different ballgame when the boats unloaded at Ellis Island, accepting everyone that could say their name and register a pulse, and thats saying nothing of all the Irish, Italians, etc. that came over here illegally too, no matter what everyone likes to say 100, 200 years later. There was no decade-long waiting list. Hatred and bigotry- yes, they did have that, which gives them at least one thing in common with today's immigrants.
MrNudiePants
Posted: Friday, August 06, 2010 8:46:08 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/10/2009
Posts: 2,141
Location: United States
LadyX wrote:
WellMadeMale wrote:

I have heard from a few people, that the entire process of becoming a legal immigrant is a fcking nightmare of red tape which lasts a very, very long time. Is it possible that the American congress or the INS itself has intentionally created a quagmire?


I already believe that most in government don't have any intention of any kind of immigration reform, so I probably should just go ahead and believe this, too. I can't think of any reason why it should be as hard as it is to do it legally, assuming you're not of privileged connections or a university graduate- where magically the red-tape gets a lot thinner.


Not for nothing, but there's a reason most laws are written in "legal-ese" gobbledygook. If they were written in plain English, you wouldn't need a lawyer to tell you what they meant. There's also a reason why the vast majority of law-makers are lawyers, and the ones that aren't have lawyers on their staffs. It so they can continue to write the laws that keep them employed. No government employee ever got ahead by making his job unnecessary. They make the political process so complicated that you have to have an advanced college degree just to start to understand it. Hell, people - if it were simple, any-fucking-body could do it. And what would the politicians do for work if they could be replaced by ordinary folks?

I'm honestly unsure how I feel about the immigration issues - the only thing I do know is that people on both sides are getting the shaft...

WellMadeMale
Posted: Friday, June 24, 2011 12:01:12 PM

Rank: Constant Gardener

Joined: 9/30/2009
Posts: 10,301
Location: Cakeland, United States


After enacting House Bill 87, a law designed to drive illegal immigrants out of Georgia, state officials appear shocked to discover that HB 87 is, well, driving a lot of illegal immigrants out of Georgia.

It might be funny if it wasn’t so sad.

Thanks to the resulting labor shortage, Georgia farmers have been forced to leave millions of dollars’ worth of blueberries, onions, melons and other crops unharvested and rotting in the fields. It has also put state officials into something of a panic at the damage they’ve done to Georgia’s largest industry.

Barely a month ago, you might recall, Gov. Nathan Deal welcomed the TV cameras into his office as he proudly signed HB 87 into law. Two weeks later, with farmers howling, a scrambling Deal ordered a hasty investigation into the impact of the law he had just signed, as if all this had come as quite a surprise to him.

The results of that investigation have now been released. According to survey of 230 Georgia farmers conducted by Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, farmers expect to need more than 11,000 workers at some point over the rest of the season, a number that probably underestimates the real need, since not every farmer in the state responded to the survey.

In response, Deal proposes that farmers try to hire the 2,000 unemployed criminal probationers estimated to live in southwest Georgia. Somehow, I suspect that would not be a partnership made in heaven for either party.

As an editorial in the Valdosta Daily Times notes, “Maybe this should have been prepared for, with farmers’ input. Maybe the state should have discussed the ramifications with those directly affected. Maybe the immigration issue is not as easy as ’send them home,’ but is a far more complex one in that maybe Georgia needs them, relies on them, and cannot successfully support the state’s No. 1 economic engine without them.”

According to the survey, more than 6,300 of the unclaimed jobs pay an hourly wage of just $7.25 to $8.99, or an average of roughly $8 an hour. Over a 40-hour work week in the South Georgia sun, that’s $320 a week, before taxes, although most workers probably put in considerably longer hours. Another 3,200 jobs pay $9 to $11 an hour. And while our agriculture commissioner has been quoted as saying Georgia farms provide “$12, $13, $14, $16, $18-an-hour jobs,” the survey reported just 169 openings out of more than 11,000 that pay $16 or more.

In addition, few of the jobs include benefits — only 7.7 percent offer health insurance, and barely a third are even covered by workers compensation. And the truth is that even if all 2,000 probationers in the region agreed to work at those rates and stuck it out — a highly unlikely event, to put it mildly — it wouldn’t fix the problem.

Given all that, Deal’s pledge to find “viable and law-abiding solutions” to the problem that he helped create seems naively far-fetched. Again, if such solutions existed, they should have been put in place before the bill ever became law, because this impact was entirely predictable and in fact intended.

It’s hard to envision a way out of this. Georgia farmers could try to solve the manpower shortage by offering higher wages, but that would create an entirely different set of problems. If they raise wages by a third to a half, which is probably what it would take, they would drive up their operating costs and put themselves at a severe price disadvantage against competitors in states without such tough immigration laws. That’s one of the major disadvantages of trying to implement immigration reform state by state, rather than all at once.

The pain this is causing is real. People are going to lose their crops, and in some cases their farms. The small-town businesses that supply those farms with goods and services are going to suffer as well. For economically embattled rural Georgia, this could be a major blow.

In fact, with a federal court challenge filed last week, you have to wonder whether state officials aren’t secretly hoping to be rescued from this mess by the intervention of a judge. But given how the Georgia law is drafted and how the Supreme Court ruled in a recent case out of Arizona, I don’t think that’s likely.

We’re going to reap what we have sown, even if the farmers can’t.

If ya can't beat 'em... pay someone to do it for you.
LadyX
Posted: Friday, June 24, 2011 12:33:31 PM

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Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,827
Dumbass bigots get what they deserve. It's never funny to see a widespread economic kick in the teeth like this, but some ridicule plus a slap upside the head is definitely in order for those who really think illegal immigration takes good ol' American jobs away.
MrNudiePants
Posted: Friday, June 24, 2011 2:07:44 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/10/2009
Posts: 2,141
Location: United States
Hmm. "As ye sow, so shall ye reap." Has an almost Biblical feel to it.

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