On September 24, 2010 the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law held a hearing titled “Protecting America’s Harvest” at 9:30 a.m. in room 2141 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
Here is what Arturo S. Rodriguez President, United Farm Workers of America had to say:
Our society places all the risks and costs associated with a seasonal industry–featuring millions of short-term jobs–on the backs of the workers. For example, if there is a freeze, as occurred last year in Florida and thousands of workers are left without work, there is no unemployment assistance even though emergency aid is promptly extended to agricultural employers.
Furthermore, if a worker is injured on the job or stiffed on payday, too often there is no real
recourse. Is it any wonder that Americans don’t want these jobs? In an era of high unemployment, undocumented workers are convenient scapegoats for our nation’s economic woes. Many associate high unemployment with foreigners taking away jobs from U.S. citizens. There are movements afoot to remove undocumented workers from the
country. Thus, the United Farm Workers initiated the “Take Our Jobs” campaign. We invite citizens and
legal residents to apply for jobs on farms across the country to supply our homes, restaurants and workplace cafeterias (including those in our nation’s capitol) with the food that fuels the people of this great nation. Since June 24, we received 8,600 inquiries for information through our web site (www.takeourjobs.org) but only seven people have accepted jobs or have been trained for agriculture positions. Unfortunately, seven new farm workers are not enough to make our food supply stable, reliable and of high quality.
What does this tell you, only 7 US workers accepted to work in Farm labor jobs. We need the H2A program, we need to make it a permanent program, otherwise the labor crisis in Farming will become a disaster.