Where is common sense in the immigration reform debate?

It’s hard to function in the world today without common sense. However, politicians seem to manage.

Consider the situation of immigration enforcement being at an all time high and how that directly impacts on U.S. food production. Don’t see the link? Ask yourself this question: how does our food get to the table? The answer? It is thanks to immigrant labor. If there are fewer immigrants, there is a food shortage. If there is a food shortage, the price of what food is available increases. Crop production drops, and the die is cast for the real possibility the nation can no longer feed itself.

In the meantime, immigration enforcement is moving ahead at a dizzying pace and the politicians are deadlocked over any kind of meaningful debate on comprehensive immigration reform. The election does not help move this issue forward either, as everyone is on standby until the House reconvenes. What is happening out in the real world?

Consider the situation of Torrey Farms, in N.Y., in business since 1803. This farm supplies nearly 40 percent of the U.S. population with vegetables. This year their production is good, but their labor supply is short. They are having a hard time finding anyone that will work in the fields, and run help wanted ads every day. They are not the only farming operation in the same boat. Americans do not want the jobs, and there are very few immigrants left to do the work. This means Canadian suppliers are nicely poised to ship vegetables, fruits and milk to the U.S.

Vegetable farmers are being forced into planting grain crops, a move that could well change the agricultural fabric on the nation as a whole. The interesting thing is that farm jobs also provide up to four ‘other’ jobs in the community. If the labor pool is reduced, it isn’t only hurting farmers, it is hurting local communities and ultimately, the whole country. So who is seeing the bigger picture? It is not the politicians. This administration has deported more than any previous one to date.

Where did common sense go? No one seems to be sure. Instead of solely focusing on bringing in highly-skilled immigrants in the sciences and technological fields, focus as well on the labor pool needed to harvest crops to feed Americans, including those highly-skilled individuals. Instead, the Obama administration is going into overdrive to conduct employer audits, but not offering any type of solution to the immigration crisis. Anyone else see the train wreck coming?

Sally Odell – Rifkin & Fox-Isicoff, PA is an immigration lawyer in Miami with immigration law offices in Orlando and Miami Florida. To learn more, visit http://www.rifkinandfoxisicoff.com.

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