U.S. citizens comprise 25% of ALL domestic crop laborers.
Another 21% are legal immigrants.
Together, they make up nearly 1/2 of the agricultural workers that provide the nation's food supply. doleta.gov/agworker/repor…
Yet the media is conspicuously silent on these legal farm workers, while devoting copious copy to the interests of their illegal competitors and their employers.
The Agricultural lobby a powerful opponent of state legislatrs who want to verify the legal status of workers or reduce illegal immigration through interior enforcement, both of which the Ag lobby views as a threat to its illegal labor supply. numbersusa.com/content/learn/…
Through the press, they warn readers & legislators of the dire consequences they say will result from the govt taking away their illegal workers w/out giving them expanded access to legal workers.
They are particularly active in Fla & Ga, & most of the local press is unwilling to challenge them. The news coverage fr the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Miami Herald, Palm Beach Post, &WOKV is remarkably similar to Ag lobby's talking points. blogs.ajc.com/political-insi…
Those outlets rarely, if ever, mention the fed H-2a visa program that provides farmers w/unlimited foreign workers for seasonal work. I've seen only 1 artcl (the Atlanta Journal-Constitution) this year that quotes a farmer begrudgingly admitting he uses H-2a program.
But the reporter immediately dismisses the program by quoting the same farmer describing H-2a as "cumbersome." Indeed, employer advocates frequently insisted Obama admn's H-2a regs-which incl min wage & working standards -pose an unrealistic burden on farmers.
They may have a point, but I have yet to find a story that quotes an H-2a official or H-2a worker on the question of whether the visa holders are too pampered or overpaid.
Presumably, none of the reporters I've read have thought to ask.
While the Ag lobby whispers sweet nothings into reporters' ears, the media sends a clear message to legal farm workers:
"We're just not that into you."
Of course, the press isn't in the sweets & flowers business, but theirs is a harsh Valentine for LEGAL farm workers & their families who have much more at stake than broken hearts.
A February 13 article in the Naples Daily News is illustrative.
The reporters showcase numerous "business owners, economic experts & tourist officials" who weigh in on the E-Verify & interior enforcement proposals before the Florida legislature.
Seven sources are cited who are critical of the enforcement proposals, while only 1 pro-enforcement group is briefly mentioned in support.
None of the sources challenge claims that taking away farmers' illegal workforce would be "catastrophic," or that farmers "wouldn't have the potential pool of employees to hire from."
H-2a visa program is NEVER mentioned &anti-enfrcmnt advocates r given carte blanch to blame American workers for illegal immigration:
"You're not going to get ppl in Facbk generatn go & pick tomatoes,"says a Univ of Fla history professor, "It ain't going to happen."
And what abt the legal workers picking our crops?
The Editor's Note says the article
"is part of a series examining upcoming legislative session, several proposed immigration bills & how they will affect business, law enfor & people who cld face scrutiny."
Those are all viewpoints that deserve to be heard.
Tellingly,however, the series will NOT examine how the bills would effect the US LEGAL citizens & LEGAL workers who stand to benefit.
Like so many of their colleagues throughout the 4th estate, (aka: the msm)
the Naples Daily News isn't interested.