How the Immigration Crisis Hurts Heartland Farmers
Farms far from border states struggle to find laborers
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 18, 2014 6:00 PM CDT
A farmer in Clear Brook, Va., on Wednesday, July 2, 2014.    (AP Photo/The Winchester Star, Ginger Perry)

(Newser) – Immigration is a hot topic for many Americans—but for US farmers, especially those far from the Mexico border, it's a problem that needs a quick solution, McClatchy reports. "Because we’re not a border state, it’s definitely harder to get people over this far from the border to work," says the owner of South Carolina's Titan Farms, the biggest peach grower on the East Coast. "There's truly not enough farmworkers now, legal or illegal." Why not? Because immigrant workers who came over years ago are getting too old to work, and younger ones are being held up by red tape, says McClatchy.

Two of the more cumbersome federal programs are for H-2A and I-9 temporary visas, which include identity and minimum-wage requirements that at least some farm owners prefer to avoid. Most Americans won't do the jobs, farmers say, and seasonal harvesting jobs won't wait: "When it’s time to harvest, it’s time to harvest," says a farming rep. In a new ad produced by a farming group, a farmer talks about destroying farmland due to a labor shortage and urges Capitol Hill to pass an immigration bill, USA Today reports. But Washington lawmakers have dropped the political hot potato for now, going on August recess without a solution—and analysts expect little more leading up to November's elections.

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Nov 21, 2014 4:06 PM CST
The bad part about all the illegal aliens is they are taking jobs from other people because they usually pay no tax and then can work for less as well..Because if you pay no tax it is all free and clear funds. Another item not mentioned is when they get hurt/ ill and go to the emergency room. Who do you think is paying for that? The tax payer is. I doubt very seriously very few of these farmers are paying any benefits to speak of for them. Farming is a business. Just like any other business. Thay also have the same and more tax breaks as well. But if they can pay someone 6.00 an hour verses someone who is a citizen who they have to pay them 10.00 an hour. What do you think there going to choose? Of course the illegal alien. Some places they are even extremely large corporation farmers like in California. The rich corporate farmers just don't want to pay a decent working wage. There cheap and lean on there congressman to keep these illegal aliens in the country. Taking jobs from American citizens.
Aug 19, 2014 5:38 PM CDT
If your business can only survive by hiring $3 per hour workers then you shouldn't be in business.
Aug 19, 2014 1:43 PM CDT
There is a joke about woman "you can't live with them, you can't live without them". Same apply to immigration in USA. We 'need' them and yet we know they also are capable of destroying local economies and people's lives. Instead of putting those 2 obvious facts on the table, each side (D / R) picks one and goes with it, blaming the other side. No wonder nothing gets done.