Despite conservatives’ claim of the contrary, the number of undocumented Mexican immigrants in America is on the decline, reported the Wall Street Journal. This decrease is beginning to affect farmers as there aren’t enough Americans willing to work on these farms, a job usually occupied by undocumented Mexican immigrants.
Because there are less undocumented immigrants in America, U.S. farming production has declined by 9.5 percent a year, equating to a $3.1 billion loss. Farm harvesting is among the many jobs that Americans are unwilling to do. Those jobs were usually taken up by undocumented Mexican immigrants. Farms across the country have offered higher wages, better benefits, and bonuses for high production, yet, American workers still don’t want those jobs.
Farm owners blame the federal government’s crackdown on illegal immigration, saying it has caused the Mexican labor force to shrink. Generally, American workers unfamiliar with farm labor quit after just a few days on the job. They also noted that the decrease in Mexican birth rates have affected the amount of young workers coming into America.
“Labor has always been an important part of what we do, but there were other resource issues that would take center stage like food safety or water,” said Joe Pezzini, CEO of California Artichoke & Vegetable Growers Corp. “But now the highest-priority issue is the availability of labor.”
Republicans say that illegal immigration damages the economy, but it appears that the opposite is true. Because of the crackdown on illegal immigration, farmers are suffering and losing money.