Friday, August 1, 2014

United States Farm Job Corps

The Department of Agriculture is a large government agency. They do everything from crop insurance to farm loans and assistance to rural housing which directly benefits over 2% of Americans (the percent of our labor force in agriculture) across the country. These are important and most should be continued because the free market will not insure farms because of the high risk which would cause premiums to be too expensive for most farmers.

I've done farm work and I know it is neither glorious or well-paying. But it is a job and an important part of the global economy. Because most Americans are very well educated the United States is full of workers who are severely overqualified for such work, since most Americans make more in a year than one can make on a farm (which is minimum wage). The current system means finding enough domestic labor to fill our surplus of jobs is impossible.

The current immigration system requires farmers to make an effort to fill positions before they hire foreigners in this country which given the number of people looking for such work is extremely difficult. For people who want such work they merely have to sign up at to get a job as a farmworker immediately. They were interviewed also on the Colbert Report which demonstrated how they are having a really hard time getting Americans to work to work on the farms. It is laborious, time consuming, and expensive for farmers to get the labor they need so many decide to forego the legal requirements and hire foreigners without the paperwork because they can't afford to wait 45 days because their crops need to grow.

Instead of putting burdensome regulations on our farmers across America we should change the system to make it easier for farmers to get the labor they need to stay in business. Instead of making it hard to get workers ICE and The Department of Agriculture could make a program where farmers can choose to post their jobs and are open first to Americans for the first week and then after that period the remainder will turn into visas for those jobs in particular open to foreigners. We might limit these workers to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, which will be politically feasible. The foreigners would apply through the American embassy in their country after which they would go through a background check from the embassy to ensure they are not dangerous at which point they would receive the visa valid for the extent of the position plus one month when they can freely work in the United States. Along with this any dependents under the age of 18 will automatically receive visas so they can attend school and their spouses will also receive a spouse visa. Employers will be required to pay for the transportation of their employees. I propose calling this program the United States Farm Job Corps which will help both small and large farms in our country.

Canada already has system like this called the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program which is a well-run program that protects workers and gives farmers the labor they require, which is something we should work on. This program is not identical however because it will also work for people within the United States and give Americans the first choice at farm jobs which will be politically feasible.

This will fix illegal immigration and create a solution so all farmers can get the labor they need, and illegal immigration will stop being such a major political issue. We should implement this policy soon to protect people and keep our agriculture running efficiently and ensure farmers treat their workers ethically. The current farm worker program

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