Dulcia Tsai’s Blog 1: US farmers look to congress for immigration reform

Dulcia Tsai’s Blog 1: US farmers look to congress for immigration reform

Over sixty thousand workers were brought in legally to the U.S. through the H-2A program from Mexico to fulfill the labor needs in the tobacco agriculture industry. These workers who are brought in only stay for a period of time, work, and then return back home to Mexico. The high cost of the paper work for the H-2A program created an increasing trend of illegal immigrant workers. The high demands and needs for workers that still exists today pushes farmers to try and have new programs and policies to be created to help fulfill their labor supply need. Farm owners and employers even commented on how “dirty” and “tough” the work is. Since the pay in U.S. is way more compared to what the H-2A workers can make back in Mexico, almost tripled, they are more willing to leave home, stay in the U.S. for a period of time, do the “dirty” work, and return home. Workers that were not from the H-2A program or undocumented immigrants made around only four percent of the total work force. Four out of thirty workers lasted until the end of the harvesting season. The inequality of hiring on the basis of fulfilling labor needs can be seen through programs like these. Individuals who are looking for a better job opportunity are taken advantage of, targeted and socially defined as illegal “leeches” to the U.S. economy when their employers may be the ones taking advantage of their willingness to work to earn a little more just to save money and get the number of workers they need. A new reform is currently being decided to allow the access of obtaining citizenships to those workers who have fulfilled a certain amount of working time and the creation of a “blue card”. It is appalling to see the extent people will go to in order to avoid having to endure the blood, sweat, and tears of hard manual labor. They hire others to complete the task, even if it goes against certain policies, but exclude them from benefits that any other workers would receive within the U.S. territory, like citizenship.

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