Farmers from the United States rely heavily on immigrant laborers but with the failed immigration legislation in the Senate and the announcement of a crackdown on employment of the undocumented, some farmers have decided to move to Mexico where the workers would have no problem with immigrant status.
An organization representing farmers in Calif. and Ariz., Western Growers conducted a survey in which twelve large businesses in this field had acknowledge moving to Mexico a total of 11,000 jobs. Exact numbers are not known but Senator Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) displayed a map on the Senate floor in July showing that in just two Mexican states, Guanajuato and Baja California, more than 46,000 acres were being grown by the U.S. farmers.
Her prediction was that more farmers from the United States would be enticed to do the same for the ready work force and lower wages.
The New York Times reported that Steve Scaroni, who built a $50 million business growing lettuce and broccoli in Calif. with mostly undocumented workers, did not necessarily want to move to Mexico. He made six trips to Washington D.C. pleading with Congress for more legal workers in agriculture.
In the same report, Scaroni’s company invested a million dollars in research in crop picking robot but the machine could not tell the difference between a good head of lettuce and a bad one. He also said that rising wages would not attract North Americans because North Americans do not take the hard labor, seasonal jobs.
Scaroni acknowledged in the interview with the New York Times that being in Mexico is not perfect either.
“At least I know the one thing; I don’t have to worry about losing my labor force because of an immigration raid.”