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Comments about ‘My view: Utah's agriculture industry needs immigration reform’

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Published: Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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RichardB
Murray, UT

Agriculture is hard, but there are much harder jobs in this country that Americans will do. I'm sure wages has something to do with it. Other countries have put money into automation, America is falling behind preferring to use migrant labor than to modernize. With 12 million people here illegally, it's hard to believe that agriculture is having a difficult time finding help, it seems like the lure of the city has become a bigger attraction to them also.

What agriculture really needs is enforcement. People come here on the H-2A visa, and leave the farms for better (easier) work. Without a visa entry-exit system, they know that unless they break laws, they will not be deported. Enforcement would keep them on the farm, and assure farmers that the help they asked for would be available.

The h-2a visa makes farmers responsible for the people brought here, and does not dump them into our welfare system, in that respect, it a fair visa. It just needs enforcement to keep the people on the farms, and doing the work they signed up for.

anti-liar
Salt Lake City, UT

"Our nation's farmers want to have a legal, consistent, and reliable workforce available to them."

What they really want is to not have to pay their fellow American a fair wage.

That's all this is about.

RRB
SLC, UT

I don't see the H-2a as cumbersome. For one thing, it's unlimited. Farmers can apply for as many as needed.

Farmers first get certified through the department of labor showing a need, then they can apply for as many as needed on one application. It takes the Department of Homeland security from 2-21 days to approve the application.

The visa is good for one year, with extensions it's good for up to three years. An employer is required to supply housing (can charge rent), meals, or a place to cook meals (can charge for meals). They also have to pay for transportation to this country and from this country. However the DHS does not follow up on making sure people leave, and since their is no monetary reward for leaving, many stay.

Amnesty will not solve the farmers labor problems, the 1986 amnesty proved that. Once they could legally work, the farm workers in California left for the city, forcing the farmers to hire people who just arrived here illegally.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

Some kind of immigration reform is certainly needed. The vast majority of people would agree.
Heck, even the vast majority of politicians would agree.

So? How come we still have not done it?

Simple. Because we wont get everything we want. We will have to give and get. And we don't want that. Just like with so many things in our politics today, NOTHING gets done because we don't get all of what we want.

So we live with a broken system that is worse than even a bad compromise. We again, kick the can down the road.

Just like everything else.

Screwdriver
Casa Grande, AZ

I haven't seen any ads or signs for farmers looking for help. All they need is a sign that says $15 an hour.

Considering that US farmers are subsidized by the government and therefore aren't real businessmen anyway, I don't think $15 an hour should be a problem.

Esquire
Springville, UT

@ anti-liar, for conservatives to make the argument that farmers should pay higher wages as an argument against immigration reform is beyond the pale, as those same people fight vociferously against an increase in the minimum wage.

Let's be practical here. Nothing will ever stop illegal immigration. It won't happen. Let's take more of a free market approach. Anti-reform folks like the free market system, don't they? Let's have more open borders, making it easy for migrant labor to enter. There could be a simple registration process, tax ID numbers, collect taxes, track their movement. Those with a criminal record in their home country could be barred (though they will still come). What is reality should be accepted and managed. Nothing else has a chance of working. Not greater enforcement (a police state?), not a bigger wall along the border (shades of Berlin).

It's a shame that farmers, business and many others want reform, and it is being held up by a very vocal minority who are bullying those who should lead.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Even IF we get "Immigration Reform"... people will continue to come to the US illegally.

That's just a known fact. If you can't acknowledge that... you are insisting on covering your mouth, eyes and ears, and just tuning out reality for the smooth comfort of pure political rhetoric.

This isn't a question mark. We KNOW this as a FACT, from what has actually happened since Reagan's "Immigration Reform"... they didn't stop coming illegally.. illegal immigration accelerated!

If anybody still thinks all we need to do is pass a NEW law.... They need to wake up and look at the reality of what we have already experienced when we believed that line.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Esquire,
I think most farmers would be OK with paying temp-workers $15/hour if EVERY farmer had to do it.

Because then they could crank up the price of their fruit so they can still afford to pay $15/hour for labor and still make a profit. Because everybody would have to do likewise.

Problem is... if only SOME farmers pay $15... the guys who don't, can sell all their stuff (because stores like same quality lower price). And the guy with expensive fruit (but same quality) can't sell his produce because it costs twice as much as the other farmer's stuff.

Same goes for Construction, Roofing, Yard Care, etc... If you follow the rules... you can't compete and go out of business.

So you have to decide if you want to stay in business... you have to do like they do so you can compete. Or you can stand on principle and go out of business...

Eventually all that's left are the guys who were willing to go with the cheaper labor and price out the competition.

Telling your employees you stood on principle doesn't help them... as you hand out the pink slips.

SLars
Provo, UT

I would like to thank this business for doing things the right way. They have proven that with a little preparation, and good management, the visa can work. It just needs some fine tuning, and the laws enforced when it's time to leave. Maybe allow farmers to hold 20% of their wages until they return home?

The Partnership for a New American Economy is a coalition of business leaders and mayors launched by Mayor Bloomberg and Rupert Murdoch to influence public opinion and policymakers toward comprehensive immigration reform (amnesty). They want cheap surplus labor to drive down wages, and put more money on their bottom line. I would not trust a group that is based on greed in my opinion.

SLars
Provo, UT

Esquire

Other countries have stopped it. Like robbery you won't stop it completely, but you can make it so unprofitable that very few come here to work without our governments permission.

We need a full border fence, and tough interior enforcement. Once a person jumps the fence, or overstays a visa, and is discovered here, they need a short trial to prove they are here illegally, then deported. The appeal can come from their own country. No more housing immigration law breakers in prisons. Then we need to really punish business, and not give them a slap on the wrist as Obama is doing now. E-verify, IRS and Social security matching will do the job, so will taking away welfare and government housing (Obama's aunt).

It's easy to do, other countries are able to do it. We just need leaders with backbone who will fight the business lobbyists.

SLars
Provo, UT

Esquire, here is what's wrong.

Zeituni Onyango, President Obama's aunt, who lived in this country illegally for 14 years is a perfect example of what is wrong with our immigration system. She came here on a visa to visit her son, and overstayed. She was collecting $700 a month on welfare benefits, along with disability payments for $51,000 a year total. She gamed our system, and cared less about the American dream. She applied for asylum, and found a way to get into public housing in Boston.
A judge ordered her deported in 2003 and 2004. She refused to go. "If I come as an immigrant, you have the obligation to make me a citizen," Auntie Zeituni demanded. The only thing wrong with our immigration, are our leaders who refuse to kick people out of the country who break our immigration laws. To fix it, citizens have to put pressure on our leaders and business community.

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

Yea for this farmer for doing things by the letter of the law.

However, this also reflects poorly on the US. It just goes to show you how proud we have become as a nation. The fact that there are jobs that even the poor and unemployed won't do is wrong. In an ideal world, farmers would not need to get visas for their workers because those that needed jobs would be lined up so that they could work.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Farming is a business. Farmers are businessmen. Businessmen operate a business because it provides income. They should not be treated differently than other businessmen. Their employees should have the same rights and privileges of employees in the hire of other businesses. They should not be allowed to cheat the public by phony aggrandizement and tales of persecution.

America is dying because businessmen refuse to share the benefits of the wealth created by the American people.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "Considering that US farmers . . . aren't real businessmen anyway, I don't think $15 an hour should be a problem."

No doubt.

But that's only because, like every other liberal trade-union shill I know, you know nothing at all about the business of farming.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Ultra Bob,
Re "America is dying because businessmen refuse to share the benefits of the wealth created by the American people"...

How do you figure businessmen refuse to share the benefits with the American people?

Who prints YOUR paycheck? (probably an evil business)
So obviously they ARE sharing with the American people!

You can say that they should share MORE... but you can't say "They refuse to share".

They don't REFUSE to share. I'll bet 90% of the paychecks written and cashed every day in America came from one of your vilified "businessmen"...

====

Something to think about while you ungratefully berate all "businessmen"...

Doesn't the owner of the company you work for share with you? (I assume you get paid)

What do you poses that wasn't bought with money an evil businessman gave you?
What would you have if he actually refused to share with you?

Without businessmen... what would you have?

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

2 bits.

Except for a few tiny exceptions Business is the pump that moves all the money in America. Every dollar of personal income for every person comes from business operations. Every dollar of charitable giving comes from the money that a person received from a business operation. Every bite of food, every consumable that every American gets comes from the personal income derived from business. Some of those dollars may take a roundabout way of getting to some people. They may go through many hands both public and private but somehow they get to the person who needs to eat.

The use of foreign labor deprives the ordinary person of the money needed to buy his food. So the ranks of the homeless, jobless, poor increase and put a larger burden on the people who are still working.

Businessmen seeking greater profits want to stop the government from helping people with Social Security and such.

As you know, Business is the prerogative of society, and is supposed to serve society. But businessmen by controlling government(s) are able to cheat.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

2 Bits.

If you could accept that Business is actually intended to serve the people and that in the end business operations pay for everything, perhaps you can see that we need to have rules for business and those rules need to be brought up to date. People need to have a way of getting income beyond work.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

That's socialism.

Why not just let the free market decide?

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Real Maverick.

You are right. Civilized society with all its rules and limitations on individual freedoms is Socialism.

The free market is the extension of the law of the jungle, survival of the fittest and the best suited.

The law of the jungle has worked very well in the animal and plant world by eliminating the unworthy and favoring the successful.

Because of the ability to reason and see beyond the current, human beings gave up on the law of the jungle long ago. Rather than depend on physical evolution to improve our survival, we traded law of the jungle for thought-out desirability.

We do not allow the free market, law of the jungle to exist in humans.

RedShirtCalTech
Pasedena, CA

To "Ultra Bob" you and "Real Maverick" are wrong. In a civilized society you would have capitalism. There would be no need to have government control like what Socialism imposes.

In a civilized society those that have more are willing to help or employ those who don't. In a civilized society government is little more than an agency to enforce property rights and to act as a referee between people or businesses.

Socialism has resulted in more jungle like behavior than anything else. Socialists have killed off the unworthy and have engaged in eugenics in order to breed better people.

We need to allow the free market to come back, without it we become the bears in the jungle that are accustomed to eating what we are given by the benevolent government and can nolonger fend for ourselves.

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