July 30, 2011

THE REAL CRIME HERE...:

Farmers Oppose G.O.P. Bill on Immigration (JESSE McKINLEY and JULIA PRESTON, 7/30/11, NY Times)

Farmers across the country are rallying to fight a Republican-sponsored bill that would force them and all other employers to verify the legal immigration status of their workers, a move some say could imperil not only future harvests but also the agricultural community's traditional support for conservative candidates. [...]

Farm laborers, required like other workers to show that they are authorized to take jobs in the United States, often present Social Security numbers and some form of picture ID. [...]

"This would be an emergency, a dire, dire situation," said Nancy Foster, president of the U.S. Apple Association, adding that the prospect of an E-Verify check would most likely mean that many immigrant workers would simply not show up. "We will end up closing down."

That sentiment is echoed by growers like George Bonacich, an 81-year-old apricot farmer who has been working the same patch of land in Patterson, 80 miles east of San Francisco, since 1969.

This year, Mr. Bonacich employed up to 100 farmhands to pick a total of 50 to 100 tons each day, often in triple-digit heat. He speaks passionately about his employees -- "They're good people, hard-working," he said -- and plainly about what would happen if E-Verify were to become the law of the farmland.

"If we don't have enough labor at peak time, the fruit goes on the ground," he said. "The fruit will only stay on the tree so long."


...is that workers have SS withheld because of those IDs, even though they'll never get a penny back.


Posted by at July 30, 2011 7:02 PM
  

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