Every year I hear the same complaints from our farmer clients, there are just not enough workers in this country to keep with the demand. What choice do they have but to hire illegal workers.
According to the Department of Labor’s National Agricultural Workers Survey, 53 percent of the hired crop labor force lacked authorization to work in the U.S. in 2004-05. Worker advocates and grower associations agree the actual figure is probably closer to 80 percent.
Three-quarters of the hired farm work force in the U.S. was born in Mexico. And more than 40 percent of crop workers were migrants, meaning they had traveled at least 75 miles in the previous year to get a farm job, the survey showed.
Now a growing immigration raids is making life more difficult for everybody. flurry of immigration raids has some farmers in upstate New York worried about their ability to harvest all of their fruits and vegetables.
The farmers blame a growing immigrant farm labor shortage on a dramatic rise in immigration enforcement at a time when national security restrictions have already sharply curtailed attempts by foreign workers to gain lawful seasonal employment in the United States.
“It’s the worst year for immigration that we’ve ever had,” said Robin Root, whose family farm lost 17 of the 60 seasonal workers it takes on during its peak harvest from July through September.