I’ve heard the argument so many times that undocumented immigrants are stealing our jobs. It is true that migrant workers from Mexico have been coming to the United States for decades, performing back-breaking labor in horrible conditions for a fraction of what U.S. citizens would make.
I’ve also heard the counter-argument – they’re taking the jobs no one else will do. Turns out, that’s true, too, and we’re learning it the hard way.
Now, fewer Mexican laborers are crossing the border, for one reason and another, and those jobs are available. Our jobs! Positions are available for U.S. citizens! So where are the people who wanted them? According to the Wall Street Journal, we actually don’t want those jobs, and growers are losing a significant portion of their crops to rot because we aren’t picking up the slack (pun intended).
In response, companies have stepped up the pay, the benefits and the working conditions. A crop worker now could make substantially more than minimum wage in a lot of places. Farmers are even recruiting and offering bonuses.
It’s hard work, though. Apparently many of the people who try it only last a few days. So where’s the American work ethic? Maybe that only applies to Central America.