People who favor having federal goons arrest undocumented workers and send them home imagine that this is a great thing for American culture and society. But of course no government program quite turns out that way you expect it to.
In this case, the results have been to create a huge labor shortage in the fruit picking industry. People who only want to come to this country to work and then leave with their earnings–people who received an invitation and who provide productivity and cost nothing and thus satisfy every condition of Hoppeite immigration norms–are not allowed in or are too frightened or favor higher paying jobs that allow a more permanent residency.
The odd result of the crackdown, then, has been that fruit is rotting on trees, and not being made available to consumers. This is bad for producers, bad for consumers, and bad for workers. The only winners are the goons themselves, who can enjoy the satisfaction that comes with treating people like animals (some people like doing that apparently), and the government in general, which gains more power over person and property.
But we were only trying to stop crime and clean up the culture, say the advocates of border crackdowns. And we were only trying to create fairness and equality, say the socialists.
Here is the story:
LAKEPORT, Calif. â€” The pear growers here in Lake County waited decades for a crop of shapely fruit like the one that adorned their orchards last month.
“I felt like I went to heaven,” said Nick Ivicevich, recalling the perfection of his most abundant crop in 45 years of tending trees.
Now harvest time has passed and tons of pears have ripened to mush on their branches, while the ground of Mr. Ivicevich’s orchard reeks with rotting fruit. He and other growers in Lake County, about 90 miles north of San Francisco, could not find enough pickers.
Stepped-up border enforcement kept many illegal Mexican migrant workers out of California this year, farmers and labor contractors said, putting new strains on the state’s shrinking seasonal farm labor force.
Labor shortages have also been reported by apple growers in Washington and upstate New York. Growers have gone from frustrated to furious with Congress, which has all but given up on passing legislation this year to create an agricultural guest-worker program.
Last week, 300 growers representing every major agricultural state rallied on the front lawn of the Capitol carrying baskets of fruit to express their ire.
This year’s shortages are compounding a flight from the fields by Mexican workers already in the United States. As it has become harder to get into this country, many illegal immigrants have been reluctant to return to Mexico in the off-season. Remaining here year-round, they have gravitated toward more stable jobs.