Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 5 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 12/28/17

America's Farmworkers Face Poverty, Neglect, and Now Deportation

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages) (View How Many People Read This)   2 comments
Author 8272
Message Jim Hightower
Become a Fan
  (45 fans)

From Other Words

Up to 70 percent of the people who put food on America's tables may be undocumented.

Migrant workers harvest lettuce at Lakeside Organic Gardens in Watsonville, CA
Migrant workers harvest lettuce at Lakeside Organic Gardens in Watsonville, CA
(Image by (USDA photo by Bob Nichols.))
  Details   DMCA

Every decade or so, America's mass media are surprised to discover that migrant farmworkers are being miserably paid and despicably treated by the industry that profits from their labor.

Stories run, the public is outraged, assorted officials pledge action, then... nothing changes.

Several news reports recently have re-documented that the shameful abuse of these hard-working, hard-traveling families continues.

A Los Angeles Times report revealed that, even if they receive the legal minimum wage, many farm laborers earn less than $17,500 a year because of the low pay and the seasonal nature of their work. Moreover, they are often "housed" in shacks, old chicken coops, shipping containers, and squalid motels.

This year, though, multibillion-dollar agribusiness interests from Florida to California are uniting in a push for new assistance -- not for workers, but themselves.

While they backed Trump for president, many are now expressing shock that he may actually try to fulfill his campaign promise to cut off the flow of undocumented immigrants to their fields.

They now admit that these immigrants make up as much as 70 percent of the industry's workforce, so they've rushed to Washington, demanding a special exemption from their president's planned lockout of Mexican laborers.

In the process, they've suddenly re-characterized the very migrants they've been so callously mistreating as noble employees who are essential to U.S. food security.

Big Ag deserves no special break at all. But if Trump and Congress give any help to them, they should be required to pay a living wage, provide decent family housing and health care, and treat all farmworkers with the respect due to the people who put food on our tables.

To help push for basic human justice, connect with the United Farm Workers at ufw.org.

 

Must Read 1   Valuable 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Jim Hightower Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Jim Hightower is an American populist, spreading his message of democratic hope via national radio commentaries, columns, books, his award-winning monthly newsletter (The Hightower Lowdown) and barnstorming tours all across America.

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is not about free trade. It's a corporate coup d'etat -- against us!

Trump Hates the American Public -- Here's How He Reveals His Disdain

The Post Office is not broke -- and it hasn't taken any of our tax money since 1971

The plutocrats who bankrolled the GOP primaries -- and what they want in return

Citizens United Against Citizens United: A Grassroots Campaign to Restore Democracy

The Audacity of Greed

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: