Thanks to tighter borders and declining numbers of Mexican immigrants, America does not have enough farmworkers to meet demand. Has anyone told the Republicans this???
The issue, as summed up by the Wall Street Journal here, is fairly straightforward: picking fruit and vegetables is hard labor. American workers tend to not want to do it for the typical wages offered. Consequently, (often illegal) immigrants, particularly seasonal immigrants from Mexico, have long made up the bulk of farmworkers. They will do the hard work for lower wages than American workers would.
Over the past decade, illegal immigration from Mexico has fallen significantly, due to both demographic changes in Mexico and our nation’s own crackdown on immigration. Wages for farmworkers have risen to more than $11 per hour, yet big farmers still cannot find enough workers to pick their crops, which causes billions of dollars worth of losses each year to fruit and vegetable growers.
There you have it. Simple supply and demand. We cracked down on immigration, there are not enough farmworkers, wages are too low to attract enough American farmworkers to fill the gap, and therefore the crops are not getting picked, costing our economy billions.
And what is the response from the presidential candidates for the nomination of the party that is supposed to be supporting business in America? Is it to raise wages? No! Is it to relax our border restrictions to increase the labor supply? No! On the contrary, Republican candidates spend most of their time arguing over who can build a bigger fence on the border. The current leading candidate has based much of his campaign on demonizing “illegals” as dangerous criminals who are “detrimental to the fabric of our once-great country.”
Republican primary voters will presumably go straight from the polling place to their local farm to sign up for those $11 an hour jobs picking grapes in the summer sun. Anything to help this country become great again.