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Thread: Immigrant farm workers' challenge: Take our jobs

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    Thumbs up Immigrant farm workers' challenge: Take our jobs

    Immigrant farm workers' challenge: Take our jobs - Yahoo! News

    SAN FRANCISCO – In a tongue-in-cheek call for immigration reform, farm workers are teaming up with comedian Stephen Colbert to challenge unemployed Americans: Come on, take our jobs.

    Farm workers are tired of being blamed by politicians and anti-immigrant activists for taking work that should go to Americans and dragging down the economy, said Arturo Rodriguez, the president of the United Farm Workers of America.

    So the group is encouraging the unemployed — and any Washington pundits or anti-immigrant activists who want to join them — to apply for the some of thousands of agricultural jobs being posted with state agencies as harvest season begins.

    All applicants need to do is fill out an online form under the banner "I want to be a farm worker" at TAKEOURJOBS.ORG, and experienced field hands will train them and connect them to farms.

    According to the Labor Department, three out of four farm workers were born abroad, and more than half are illegal immigrants.

    Proponents of tougher immigration laws have argued that farmers have become used to cheap labor and don't want to raise wages enough to draw in other workers.

    Those who have done the job have some words of advice for applicants: First, dress appropriately.

    During summer, when the harvest of fruits and vegetables is in full swing in California's Central Valley, temperatures hover in the triple digits. Heat exhaustion is one of the reasons farm labor consistently makes the Bureau of Labor Statistics' top ten list of the nation's most dangerous jobs.

    Second, expect long days. Growers have a small window to pick fruit before it is overripe.

    And don't count on a big paycheck. Farm workers are excluded from federal overtime provisions, and small farms don't even have to pay the minimum wage. Fifteen states don't require farm labor to be covered by workers compensation laws.

    Any takers?

    "The reality is farmworkers who are here today aren't taking any American jobs away. They work in often unbearable situations," Rodriguez said. "I don't think there will be many takers, but the offer is being made. Let's see what happens."

    To highlight how unlikely the prospect of Americans lining up to pick strawberries or grapes, Comedy Central's "Colbert Report" plans to feature the "Take Our Jobs" campaign on July 8.

    The campaign is being played for jokes, but the need to secure the right to work for immigrants who are here is serious business, said Michael Rubio, supervisor in Kern County, one of the biggest ag producing counties in the nation.

    "Our county, our economy, rely heavily on the work of immigrant and unauthorized workers," he said. "I would encourage all our national leaders to come visit Kern County and to spend one day, or even half a day, in the shoes of these farm workers."

    Hopefully, the message will go down easier with some laughs, said Manuel Cunha, president of the California grower association Nisei Farmers League, who was not a part of the campaign.

    "If you don't add some humor to this, it's enough to get you drinking, and I don't mean Pepsi," Cunha said, dismissing the idea that Americans would take up the farm workers' offer.

    California's agriculture industry launched a similar campaign in 1998, hoping to recruit welfare recipients and unemployed workers to work on farms, he said. Three people showed up.

    "Give us a legal, qualified work force. Right now, farmers don't know from day to day if they're going to get hammered by ICE," he said, referring to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "What happens to my labor pool?"

    His organization supports AgJobs, a bill currently in the Senate which would allow those who have worked in U.S. agriculture for at least 150 days in the previous two years to get legal status.

    The bill has been proposed in various forms since the late 1990s, with backing from the United Farm Workers of America and other farming groups, but has never passed.

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    Gold Member nana51's Avatar
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    No one is complaining about the immigrant farm workers taking our jobs. We are complaining about immigrants taking construction jobs, waitressing jobs, retail clerk jobs, etc. I live in San Diego and I know what I'm talking about. Americans are still too lazy to do a hard job like strawberry picking, but not too lazy to do construction work. It pays quite well. Even the immigrants get paid quite well for those jobs. The difference is it is all "under the table" and no taxes, social security taxes, or health insurance needs to be paid. So it is hard to fight against that.
    Oh, I offended you with my opinion? You should hear the ones I keep to myself.

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    I notice you're not making any distinction between legal immigrants and people who are in the country illegally.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nana51 View Post
    No one is complaining about the immigrant farm workers taking our jobs. We are complaining about immigrants taking construction jobs, waitressing jobs, retail clerk jobs, etc. I live in San Diego and I know what I'm talking about. Americans are still too lazy to do a hard job like strawberry picking, but not too lazy to do construction work. It pays quite well. Even the immigrants get paid quite well for those jobs. The difference is it is all "under the table" and no taxes, social security taxes, or health insurance needs to be paid. So it is hard to fight against that.
    That is the best.
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    Quote Originally Posted by twitchy2.0 View Post
    I notice you're not making any distinction between legal immigrants and people who are in the country illegally.
    Neither, apparently, is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twitchy2.0 View Post
    I notice you're not making any distinction between legal immigrants and people who are in the country illegally.
    this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MohandasKGanja View Post
    Neither, apparently, is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

    True.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nana51 View Post
    No one is complaining about the immigrant farm workers taking our jobs. We are complaining about immigrants taking construction jobs, waitressing jobs, retail clerk jobs, etc. I live in San Diego and I know what I'm talking about. Americans are still too lazy to do a hard job like strawberry picking, but not too lazy to do construction work. It pays quite well. Even the immigrants get paid quite well for those jobs. The difference is it is all "under the table" and no taxes, social security taxes, or health insurance needs to be paid. So it is hard to fight against that.
    Around here we have day laborers by the hundreds assembled outside of places like Home Depot, etc. They charge $220 for the day plus breakfast and lunch. All under the table.

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    Elite Member Just Kill Me's Avatar
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    They're great for the DIY weekend remodeling.
    KILLING ME WON'T BRING BACK YOUR GOD DAMNED HONEY!!!!!!!!!!

    Come on, let's have lots of drinks.

    Fuck you all, I'm going viral.

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    I applied and got a response. But there are no jobs any where near me. i was going to give it a shot and document my self, if I could even do the work, the conditions, etc.


    The entire problem with illegal immigrants and jobs is the BUSINESSES that give them jobs.

    The only solution is to fine businesses/indivuals into bankruptcy for each and every illegal they hire.

    Then we will see the problem dry up.

    I loathe the hard working immigrant getting the brunt of the hate and anger when it is the American businesses who HIRE them who are the real criminals.

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    we needed sidewalks... up in a week - great job too, all under the table. 3 weeks later they decided they would have to dig up the sidewalks and put drain pipes under them. No illegals, took 3 months.

    I think if you work here you should pay taxes here, if you get caught employing illegals you should catch more flack than the illegal... the illegals that attend our schools that we pay taxes for. Sending their earned money home to their country doesn't help our country.

    Illegals doesn't always mean Mexicans, our mortgage fraud problem here doesn't have anything to do with Mexicans.

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    Shouldn't we just have more realistic standards and procedures for immigrants? Or do we not want to do that because then we would have to actually hire legal immigrants legally? Ugh, everything's such a mess.
    "Not only do we embrace it, we take it out for drinks, get it absolutely steaming drunk, leg hump it and then leave it covered in shaving foam and a stolen Chuck E Cheese outfit in its own bath with no recollection of how it got there." -Kittylady on the sad and pathetic and strange.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Charmed Hour View Post
    Around here we have day laborers by the hundreds assembled outside of places like Home Depot, etc. They charge $220 for the day plus breakfast and lunch. All under the table.
    This is what I'm talking about. And I, of all people should have made the distinction between legal and illegal, as I myself am an immigrant. However I came legally. Unwillingly but legally. When I say Americans are too lazy to do strawberry picking but not construction, that was incorrect. It is the fact that picking berries pays practically nothing so no one wants to do it except someone who is illegal. Construction pays pretty good. Even if it is under the table pay.
    Oh, I offended you with my opinion? You should hear the ones I keep to myself.

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    I blame the businesses that hire them. Illegal immigrants wouldn't come up here if there were no jobs for them. Certain businesses hire them -- and do it because they can get around the minimum wage as well as providing decent benefits.

    And if someone tries to penalize these businesses, they scream bloody murder to politicians to stop the legislation.

    If you had a much larger, consistently applied guest worker program, a lot of these workers probably wouldn't even elect to stay here long term. They would be shuttling back and forth to where they originally lived -- where it's a lot cheaper. However, because guest-worker visas are so few, and the cost of even getting here is so high, once they get here, they feel they have to stay to justify the risk and investment.

    Ironically, I don't believe that a lot of these under-the-table businesses would support a large guest-visa program either, because they like the status quo, which provides them with maximum profit. With more guest workers, these businesses would have to come out into the light, and provide better pay and better benefits.

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    ^ it is business. if businesses provided livable salaries and health care, yes those jobs would be filled by Americans. what is so hard to understand about that?

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