No Blood for Lettuce
Take this morning's report on CNN which came at about 7:35 am EDT. Entitled "Farm-Fresh Problems," the segment, narrated by CNN's Chris Lawrence, focused on the lack of illegal immigrant labor to harvest California's fruit and vegetable crops.
CNN REPORTER CHRIS LAWRENCE: California harvests about half the nation's fruits and vegetables and every summer, farmers need half-a-million workers to pick those crops. But the crackdown on illegal immigrants is keeping workers out of their fields, leaving unpicked fruit left to rot.
HENRY VEGA [California farmer]: They're definitely worried about being raided and deported.
View video here.
Lawrence did run a clip of an opponent of the immigration bill, Jack Martin of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, who said the proposed system would be gamed by illegals looking to stay in the country.But then it was back to Vega saying "when you don't have the labor, it just breaks your heart." Lawrence concluded by describing a conversation he had with a farmer in which Lawrence asked why the farmers simply couldn't pay the workers more money.
LAWRENCE: He said, 'we'd have to pass the costs on to the consumer.' And he says, honestly, he doesn't think people are going to pay more for a California strawberry, as opposed to one that's just as good and coming from Argentina. He said countries like that in South America can already ship their products a lot cheaper than he can right here in California. Critics say there shouldn't be jobs here in the United States that American workers aren't prepared to do.Radio talk show host Mark Levin made the point in his inimitable fashion on his show of May 21st.
MARK LEVIN: So we'll be importing fruits and vegetables rather than people . . . I'll pay more for lettuce or anything else, because let me tell you something, I'd rather pay more for lettuce than pay more in property taxes for school systems that are overwhelmed. I'd rather pay more for lettuce than pay premiums for health care insurance because hospitals are overwhelmed. I'd rather pay more for lettuce than put the final death blow into the Social Security and Medicare systems in this country. Yes, I'll pay more for lettuce.
Of course the sacrifices involved in our lax immigration policy go beyond the economic. They extend to our national security interests and the preservation of our political/cultural values. But what's all that compared to a cut-rate cucumber?Contact Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org