Readers React: Creating a labor shortage by deporting immigrant farmworkers makes no sense
To the editor: Who will work the fields in California when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has rounded up all the immigrant laborers? (“ICE arrests farmworkers, sparking fears in the Central Valley over immigrants and the economy,” March 31)
Why, all those American citizens the Mexicans were taking jobs away from, of course! Scads of them!
But, wait, there aren’t scads of American citizens lining up to take these newly available jobs in the fields? I thought that was the whole argument behind deporting immigrant laborers.
It seems we can’t get along without Mexican labor after all. Produce will rot in the fields, but at least Republicans are happy. What’s wrong with this picture?
Barbara Carlton, El Cajon
To the editor: Our immigration system does not promote the greater good or even try to fix itself. Rather, it is focused on in terrorem front-page activities like ripping families apart and letting California crops rot as an object lesson to the state that President Trump hates.
Real immigration reform would allow for lawful hires where they are needed. ICE could pick up Central Valley workers, process noncriminals without papers, work with the growers to determine their exit and reentry dates and let them go back to work until their time is up. All work would be in accordance with wage and hour laws.
No matter how many people you deport or how many taxpayer-financed benefits the government tries to take away, gang bangers and purported welfare cheats from Los Angeles are not going to move to the Central Valley to do these jobs.
Sheridan West, Sherman Oaks
To the editor: What irony that the president bites the very hand of the voters who supported him in the Central Valley.
California’s top three producing agricultural counties are Kern, Fresno and Tulare. Trump won the 2016 vote in Kern and Tulare, and it was very close in Fresno. I’m pretty certain that it wasn’t the undocumented immigrants who voted for Trump, so it must have been the good citizens who benefit from all of that production that supported the anti-immigrant candidate in his bid for the White House.
Do you suppose that all of those voters assumed that Trump meant he would get rid of undocumented immigrants, just not the ones they need to harvest all of their crops? What short-sighted stupidity.
Robert Zwissler, Manhattan Beach
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