Aug 18, 2011

Immigration Facts: Could Farms Survive Without Illegal Labor?

A New York Times "Room for Debate" discussion with six points of view. American produce is underpriced, in part because farmers and growers rely on illegal immigrant workers, who are paid little and often have poor working conditions.

This reliance on immigrant workers has farmers lobbying against a bill that would require them to verify migrant workers' status and employ only legal workers, saying such a mandate would cripple the industry.

If American growers are so dependent on illegal labor, would strict verification drive up prices for labor and, ultimately, produce? Are consumers too accustomed to inexpensive vegetables and fruit to accept the cost of legal labor to produce it?

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