Farm Labor, Immigration and Food Security

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A federal judge gave US employers--including farmers--a temporary reprieve yesterday, saying one immigration enforcement strategy might do irreparable harm to both business and labor. So-called "no match" Social Security letters will not be sent to employers after all, at least for the next few months. But planting, cultivating and harvesting have been seriously disrupted by the crackdown on illegal workers. In Colorado, restrictive new state laws deny all but essential services to undocumented workers, and some of the fields are being worked by prison inmates. In California, some farmers have already moved to Mexico. Why can't legal workers take up the slack?  Is it only about cheap labor?  What about the reliability and safety of the food supply?




Warren Olney