John Polk wrote:That labor force has not always been illegal. "They" were allowed to migrate seasonally to work the crops, then go home with a fortune of cash in their pockets.
Times changed. Most had no reason to go back home...there was nothing for them there. Laws also changed. The business model was built on a legal source of labor, that through changing laws vanished.
The entire monoculture business model in this country needs an entire overhaul if we are going to be able to feed ourselves economically.
There are so many facets to the argument here it really makes my head spin:
As the quote above says the labor force picking apples hasn't always been considered an illegal force. Sure there was a law that says one should go through the proper channels to work in the United States but no one ever paid attention to those laws until the mid 90's. Now migrant seasonal workers are considered "illegal", end of discussion, based on what? A border line drawn on paper? Where was the stop gap measure that allowed the workers to become legal? Wouldn't an initiative to create legal workers be the next logical step? Why are so many willing to cut off the flow of seasonal workers because of unenforced laws? Our American enforcement agencies are the ones who did nothing to enforce the laws for 40 years! When do we accept our own responsibility in the problem???
In the past it was obvious, some might say moronic to point out, when you need a seasonal work force one employees the people who are reliable, well trained and willing to do the work for the pay. Why is this concept not obvious anymore? Because the workers are a drain on our local schools and medical system? Why can't the same migrant seasonal workers become reasonably ascertained legal seasonal workers and ushered home when the work is done? Legal workers pay taxes! Legal workers can have a voice and have a right to demand higher wages from orchard owners! Illegal migrant workers have no voice! Does anyone here see what I am saying?
The right for groups to have a voice are Constitutional Rights because they WORK as leverage. Give seasonal workers a voice and the orchard owners will stop showing up on congress' door step asking for help. The Orchard owners will have no choice but to pay higher wages! In turn American workers can and are economically encouraged to compete in the work place. Legal Seasonal Workers will pay taxes and medical insurance premiums! Which in turn will improve our system as a whole. (See Side Note)
The Constitution of the United States was built on Permaculture Principles!!(Whether we as Americans know it or not) When one group makes another subservient then the controlling group takes on the responsibility of performing the maintenance of the subservient group. The same holds true in permaculture. Just like in our gardens when we use highly volatile and quick release fertilizer in our gardens we make the garden dependent on our input. But when we meet our garden as an equal and treat in a way that it has been treated for longer than a millennia our problem becomes our solution. We reap the benefits of having an equal relationship by many times more than we could produce on our own.
I am not suggesting we impart citizenship to migrant workers, but I am suggesting we have the power observe and interact with the solution, realizing our dependent nature on other beings. The line drawn on a map creates an opportunity for functional interconnectedness but we have to work for it, or our fear of loss will drive us to bitter alternatives such as resentment and ultimately shooting ourselves in the foot. Our mono culture system is what we have to work with now so making the system work for us is imperative as we build food sovereignty. A multiple element food system will not pop up overnight!!! However, as the general public begins to get sick from mono culture production the idea of healing foods will drive permaculture development and make migrant worker arguments a footnote in history.
I am not pro-Union! I think Unions of longevity (forced membership unions) are another group that misuses our law and does not follow the Constitution. If there is work place safety issues, then sure Unions are a useful tool. But like all tools Unions should have well articulated goals and once the goals are met then the organization should be abolished. Forced Membership Unionizing is Unconstitutional and a detriment to us all!!! Unions for arbitration purposes are of no value to the greater community.