The head of Bethel Heights Vineyard looked out over the 100 acres of vines her crew of 20 Mexicans had just finished pruning, worried about what will happen if the Trump administration presses ahead with its crackdown on immigrants.
From tending the plants to harvesting the grapes, it takes skill and a strong work ethic to produce the winery’s pinot noir and chardonnay, and native-born Americans just aren’t willing to work that hard, Patricia Dudley said as a cold rain drenched the vineyard in the hills of Oregon.
“Who’s going to come out here and do this work when they deport them all?” she asked.
A better question would be “Who’s going to come here and work for the crap wages we pay and put up with our oppressive racism.”
President Donald Trump’s hard line against immigrants in the U.S. illegally has sent a chill through the nation’s agricultural industry, which fears a crackdown will deprive it of the labor it needs to plant, grow and pick the crops that feed the country.
Fruit and vegetable growers, dairy and cattle farmers and owners of plant nurseries and vineyards have begun lobbying politicians at home and in Washington to get them to deal with immigration in a way that minimizes the harm to their livelihoods.
Paying an fair wage is an anathema to these people. So naturally they don’t want secure borders and an immigration system that’s fair and efficient.
Farming uses a higher percentage of illegal labor than any other U.S. industry, according to a Pew Research Center study.
Racist farmers need to stop violating U.S. immigration law. They should hire legal immigrants and obey U.S work rules and wage laws.
Read the whole story in the Mercury News