About Secret History

Commentary on Latin America.
Mostly about Mexico - but not always.
Designed to encourage readers to learn about
the apparently "secret history" of 500 million people
spread across two continents
- but not always.
You can always count on a little snark.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Agricultural Crisis for US?

How did I miss this? The House Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement met in mid April and decided that unless reforms happen quickly to increase the flow of agricultural labor from Latin America that agriculture in the US is facing a crisis. From Washington State to Florida, from NY State to Central Valley in Cali, a shortage in pickers, diggers, pluckers, and plowers could lead to a sever crises for US food security.

Reports CNN:

According to the U.S. Department of Labor's National Agricultural Workers Survey, which canvasses hired farm workers, over the period of 2007 to 2009, 48% of farm workers in the country admitted they were in the United States illegally.

The agricultural industry has repeatedly asked the federal government to streamline and expedite the H-2A visa program as its labor needs have grown over the years.

Lee Wicker, deputy director of the North Carolina Growers Association -- an organization with 600 grower members and the largest H-2A program user in the country -- said the current program is ineffective. Wicker called it "costly, time-consuming, and flawed. Farmers have to complete a lengthy labor certification process that's slow, bureaucratic, and frustrating."

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