Trump's smart stance on migrant farmworkers
President Trump has come under some misplaced fire from normally on-target Breitbart News, over his assurances to Michigan farmers that he would reinstitute guest worker passes for necessary farm workers. Breitbart writes:
President Donald Trump told American farmers on Saturday that he would allow guest workers to come into the country, despite his promise to protect American workers.
“For the farmers, OK, it’s going to get good, and we’re going to let your guest workers come in, because we’re going to have strong borders, but we have to have your workers come in,” the president said during his campaign rally in Washington, Michigan on Saturday.
Trump said that the unemployment numbers were so good that it was possible to allow guest workers in the country to work the fields and do seasonal labor.
“We have to let people come in. They’re going to be guest workers, they’re going to come in, they’re going to work on your farms, we’re going to have the H-2Bs come in, we’re going to have a lot of things happening,” Trump said.
Is Breitbart trying to say that there is a vast corps of American farmworkers out there who are being put out of work by illegals? And by extending guest-worker passes to farm workers to help the farmers, there will be vast unemployment lines for people who really really crave to do this kind of unskilled labor?
Sorry, this criticism is wrong, way wrong, and it puts farmers last.
Here's the facts from someone who knows a lot of farmers, both in California's Central Valley, and yeah, out in western Michigan, the place where Trump made his promise, and the place that just by coincidence put Trump over the top as he defeated Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race.
Farmers have been suffering from massive worker shortage for years. Massive. Farm worker shortages so bad they have put American farms out of business and literally outsourced farming to Mexico. Heard of Mexican produce coming into the states? I bet you have. That is a function of declining farms here, the most productive in the world, being unable to function due to the shortages of farm workers to pick crops.
Here's another reality: Farmers are always put last in the Washington hierarchy of things.
Here's another reality: The illegal immigrants who pick the strawberries and tend the cows, and harvest the lettuce as farm workers are very necessary to our economy. These are the unskilled laborers who move with the sun, the seasons, and the earth's axis, and slowly edge north to harvest crops as they ripen. There's a natural absence of borders with this line of work and there always has been. It's in the nature of the work.
Bottom line: They are not like other illegals. Most illegals in fact are not farm workers, and farm workers should not be confused with average illegals. The latter are members of Mexico's lower middle class who have enough cash to pay illegal immigrant smuggling syndicates and who come here for all the better education, welfare, and free health care they can get. They are the people who turn up at rallies because they have lots of spare time. They are the ones who protest in Congress and wave the Mexican flag at their graduation ceremonies after U.S. taxpayers give them a free ride. They take up medical school slots because of affirmative action privileges, and get jobs as leftwing lawyers, police officers and city commissioners with accommodating judges to recognize their credentials. These are not farm workers, who are genuinely poor, and who come here of necessity.
But this group of people do like to hide behind farm workers by claiming their grab for the goodies here is 'just doing the jobs Americans won't do.' It's baloney. Only farm workers can make that claim, nobody else can.
Because unlike the illegals who take up medical school slots and keep some American out, nobody wants to do the kind of unskilled, backbreaking labor that farm workers do in the states. Want to pick strawberries for a few cents a bushel? Just try it and see. The farmworkers who are willing to do this sort of work are typically people who work, harvest, save their earnings (a really good farmworker can make $60,000 a year in the Central Valley, but sacrifices like hell to do it), and then typically use the savings to start their own farms down in Mexico or some place similar.
People like this deserve to be treated with dignity. They put food on our table, they save us from having to pay $5 a head for lettuce at the grocery, they make our farms the most productive in the world, and then they move with the sun and seasons to where the work takes them elsewhere, often as far as Canada. Unlike the claims of this other, larger category of illegals, they really are valued members of society and should be respected, given guest worker cards, and allowed to come and go as befits their contributions. They should not be treated as other illegals who are here for the taxpayer goodies.
Time was, America did have guest workers up until the 1960s. Who stopped it? None other than Cesar Chavez, the radical leftwing leader of the United Farm Workers Union that purported to represent American-born farmworkers in opposition to Mexican guest workers doing farm labor. Chavez got them kicked out and their guest worker passes revoked. Now they are forced to live lives as illegals. The left created this situation for the farms and farm workers and now Breitbart is defending it.
No, no, no, no. Trump is right to want to restore the rights of guest workers that the rabid left took away from them. Let's see the left try to defend its unconscionable stance now. Trump knows what he is doing. Breitbart's sniping in this case is not helpful and it should drop the issue if it doesn't want to be doing the left's work for it.