Flash back a year. Anti-immigrant fever was at a very high pitch in the state of Georgia. The legislature there decided to do something about it.
Something to get those Jobs back, for actual Americans ... born in America ...
Hmmm? How'd did that little experiment turn out?
House Bill 87, a law designed to drive illegal immigrants out of Georgia, state officials appear shocked to discover that HB 87 is, well, driving a lot of illegal immigrants out of Georgia.
It might be funny if it wasn’t so sad.
Thanks to the resulting labor shortage, Georgia farmers have been forced to leave millions of dollars’ worth of blueberries, onions, melons and other crops unharvested and rotting in the fields. It has also put state officials into something of a panic at the damage they’ve done to Georgia’s largest industry.
Their rationalizaton was: Can't Americans do those (back-breaking) Immigrant Jobs?
Well, it seem we can. But few actually do:
by Aaron Smith, staff writer CNNMoney.com -- July 10, 2010
"Farm workers do the work that most Americans are not willing to do," said union president Arturo Rodriguez in the announcement of the campaign.
At least half a million applicants are needed to replace the immigrant workforce [500,000], so the union has posted an online application for Americans who want to work on a farm.
Since June 24, at least 4,000 people have responded to the application, said Rodriguez. Some are serious responses and others are hate mail. "Only a few dozen have really followed through with the process," he said.
Most applicants quickly lose interest once the reality sinks in that these are back-breaking jobs in triple-digit temperatures that pay minimum wage, usually without benefits, according to the union. Some small farms are not required to pay minimum wage and in 15 states farms aren't required to offer workers' compensation.
Half a million farm workers needed in GA, to replace those expelled.
Only 4,000 Americans applied. 500,000 needed.
Only about 30 or so actually showed up to pick the crops, that stocks our neighborhood shelves.
Ooops! Augusta, we have a problem.
The Tea Party zealots in Georgia instead of admitting failure and letting the dirt-poor Migrant workers back into their state, decided instead to double down on their original Market-failure solution.
This time they look to be going the indentured-servant route -- quite literally:
posted by immigrantworkerjustice.org -- Apr 23, 2012
From our allies at Farmworker Justice and NAACP:
Use of Prisoners for Vidalia Onion Harvest Underlines Agricultural Labor Problems:ATLANTA – The NAACP and advocates for the rights of farmworkers today condemned the state of Georgia’s use of prison inmates to harvest Vidalia onions in response to claims of an agricultural labor shortage. Last week amidst complaints from growers demanding more workers, the Georgia Department of Corrections sent transitional inmates from Smith State Prison to work for an onion grower in Glennville.
“This practice is shocking and regressive,” said Edward O. Dubose, President of the NAACP Georgia State Conference. “The fact that the state is resorting to forced labor to fix economic problems created by our failed immigration policies tells us that something has gone horribly wrong here in Georgia.”
Only one or two problems with this "free market" $0-wage Conservative solution.
Exploiting a publicly maintained "resource" for purely private gains, come to mind.
Manpower and skill levels shortages are liable to end up giving GA farmers the same "rotting" results, this time too.
Oh well, such is the hidden cost of Tea Party ignorance. When will a pinnacle society, such as our own, ever learn ...
that Immigrants do the work that few Americans will ???
(Far, far fewer Americans than what's needed to actually get the thankless job done.)