California farmers wait for comprehensive immigration reform and prepare for work in the fields. The Associated Press reported that some Oregon farmers contend the U.S. government’s decision to place National Guard troops along the Mexican border is contributing to a shortage of workers to pick their ripe fruit.
The stepped up efforts to crack down on illegal immigration is having an unwanted effect on American farmers. Some claim recent raids and threats to prosecute companies that hire undocumented workers have resulted in a severe labor shortage that could force some farms out of business and lead to higher food prices.
We are hoping for an immediate reform with respect to the H2A visa system, currently the only guest worker like system to hire farm workers. The system itself is very complicated and I am not surprised why not so many employers are actually trying to comply.