Thursday, May 15, 2008

Another AZ Immigration Myth-Buster

This from the Tucson Citizen, "Immigration Reform: When There's No One to Harvest the Crops":

In Yuma, Muthart manages the 60-year-old, 8,000-acre Pasquinelli Produce Co. in a part of the state that produces up to 90 percent of the lettuce, broccoli, celery, cauliflower and other vegetables eaten by Americans during some winter months.

Because there is not a guest worker program allowing people from Mexico to come into the United States for the harvest, then return home, workers must cross the border - legally - daily if they want to work.

So Pasquinelli has stopped planting on land it owns more than an hour's travel from the border because workers don't have time to travel that far. Muthart said he is 20 percent to 25 percent short of the workers he needs for full produce production.

He has twice been to Washington, D.C., to argue for immigration reform or at least a guest worker program, but to no avail.

He and other farmers in the area now are deciding how much land they'll have to leave vacant next winter. "It's on everybody's mind," he said.

Robbs and Muthart both stressed one point: The farmworkers from Mexico don't want to live in the United States. They want a legal and easy way to go back and forth.

"These people like living in Mexico and to go home every night," Muthart said.
"They have their families down in Mexico," Robbs said. "They like it down there."

What part of this escapes the RepubliCons in our state and national legislatures?

Mexicans who work further north in AZ perhaps can't go home every night, but they still want to go home as often as they can. The able and dignified man who does landscaping so well in our neighborhood goes home every weekend to continue building his house in Mexico. Where he plans to retire. NB: Well out of reach of our healthcare (as if) and Social Security systems. He doesn't want to live in the USA.

A lot of Mexicans, Guatemalans, and other Central Americans feel that way. They'd like to work here and pay into our tax base and Social Security system, but then, provided they can survive there, of course, they wish return to live in the land where they were born.

Family values, I guess. Or patriotism.