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  • FarmersVoice Mar 1, 6:08 p.m.

    We used to hire exclusively local people to do farm work. The problem is the desire of those on unemployment to do the hot, physically-demanding, long hours of work. There simply is no desire or drive, generally speaking, for them to do that kind of work. I am sure there are those who would be willing to do the work but might not be able to stand up to the physical demands of farm work. Farmers are not the sole proprietors of illegal immigration into this country. The problem is here and is not going to be fixed by any rant on this board. Call your Congressman and Senators and tell them to stop stalling on political budgetary issues and start doing what they were sent to Washington to do.

  • roadbird Mar 1, 2:30 p.m.

    I think we need to keep in mind that there are plenty of welfare recipiants that need work too. This would help the taxpayers as well. Remember the CCC Corp. Why can't our country consider that as well. While many immigrant workers may be legal, we still need a way to put our own to work over those that are ILLEGAL.

  • btneast Mar 1, 12:39 p.m.

    FarmersVoice and btneast I was wondering after reading some of the comments below if someone needs to define ILLEGAL for you?

    No, but you may want to look into a reading comprehension course. I am against illegal immigration anywhere anytime. I think a lot of people erroneously assume that all or most migrant workers are here illegally, and thats not the case. Are there some that are illegal, you bet....send them back I guess. The ones that are here voluntarily work the fields. Some of those aspire for more, and move on to better things. It's a stepping stone into a better world, like any entry level job.

  • Working4aLiving Mar 1, 11:38 a.m.

    FarmersVoice and btneast
    I was wondering after reading some of the comments below if someone needs to define ILLEGAL for you? FarmersVoice, if your workers are as you say "all legal to be here" no problem. You shouldn't be worried about the whole allowing illegal workers into the United States or North Carolina. Problem solved for you, but your neigboring farmers may have a different story.

  • Sherlock Mar 1, 11:38 a.m.

    Take all those on unemployment a put them in the fields. Like the old CCC workers.

  • Sherlock Mar 1, 11:37 a.m.

    Imported food does not cost the taxpayers that much and is a lot cheaper

  • btneast Mar 1, 11:35 a.m.

    But I don't think the tax he is withholding covers the expense these workers are costing our state.

    Hardly anyone pays individually enough tax to pay for any one service. I put two girls through Wake County Public Schools, and I know my property taxes alone did not cover their costs to the county, even though it sure felt like it did.

  • US Born Mar 1, 10:47 a.m.

    Maybe you missed where he stated he withheld taxes on his workers?...btneast

    No, I didn't miss that part at all. But I don't think the tax he is withholding covers the expense these workers are costing our state. And have you forgotten that a good precentage of these workers (NOT ALL) are working in the US illegally? I'm sorry illegal is illega anyway you look at it. So you are saying that farmers should be able to hire workers that are not legally in the US? And, I guess other businesses should jump right in and ask that we let even more illegals cross the borders so they can hire them. And we wonder what is wrong with our country...wow. OPEN THE GATES

  • btneast Mar 1, 10:18 a.m.

    I also agree with many others making comments about the Prison & Jail systems being used for labor to farmers as well as construction and work on our highways

    I agree with the sentiment on this, but the logistics involved would likely make it a non starter. Inmates require security as well as transportation back and forth from the prison. I'm all for hard labor while in prison, but forced labor will not be gentle with the crops, and that is essential on some crops. What incentive does an inmate have to do the job right as well? If he screws up, tears up the field, or picks crops not yet ready, he causes more damage than good. What are you going to do, threaten to send him to prison? It's just not a realistic option.

  • btneast Mar 1, 10:11 a.m.

    @FarmersVoice I am sorry but you are putting a burden on the rest of us considering our tax dollars feed and provide heathcare, among other things for your workers.

    Maybe you missed where he stated he withheld taxes on his workers?

  • US Born Mar 1, 9:31 a.m.

    @FarmersVoice I am sorry but you are putting a burden on the rest of us considering our tax dollars feed and provide heathcare, among other things for your workers. I was born and raised in Sampson County so I know a little about farmers. Our own country's citizens need jobs, we are just asking that the farmers try to help their own out first....we are the one's buying your product.

    I also agree with many others making comments about the Prison & Jail systems being used for labor to farmers as well as construction and work on our highways, they are nothing but a burden to our society and our tax dollars. We don't only pay for them, but for their families also in some cases. Put them to work! And the ones drawing unemployement should not be able to turn down reasonable work as bad as times are for everyone today.....put them to work.

  • btneast Mar 1, 9:17 a.m.

    and they're breaking the law by hiring illegal labor.

    I am certain that there are some illegal aliens working on farms , as well as many other industries........but most of the migarant workers, and latino workers in general are legal. Too many people just assume that all latinos are illegal, and that is just not the case.

  • Das G Mar 1, 8:48 a.m.

    There is no way lazy Americans getting a free check from the gov't are going to go out in a field and work. That's just silly to think. Republicans are really going to screw themselves on this immigration reform. The dems know how to "buy" the votes (amnesty, social programs, etc.). Once that latino vote is locked in (which it nearly is now), republicans won't have a chance.

  • goldiepryor Mar 1, 12:32 a.m.

    THERE IS PLENTY OF FARM LABOR IN THE PRISONS AND JAILS. THEY SHOULD BE MADE TO WORK TO PAY THEIR CHILD SUPPORT, FOR THE OTHER CRIMES THEY COMMITTED, AND THE COST OF THEIR KEEP. IF THEIR MINDS AND HANDS WERE NOT SO IDLE CAN YOU IMAGINE THE CRIMES THAT WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN COMMITTED. SOMEBODY WOULD HAVE BEEN TOO TIRED AND SLEEPY!!!

  • FarmersVoice Feb 28, 7:34 p.m.

    These comments are very discouraging. As a young farmer, I do have to abide by all laws that everyone else does. I pay more than minimum wage. I withhold taxes and pay unemployment tax. All my workers have to have legal documents verifying their eligibility to work. Everyone sent out by the ESC would rather do nothing than work the farm. There is a reason less than 2% of the population are farmers. People don't realize that farmers are price takers not price makers. We don't set the price for our commodities. We take the market at the time of sale. We can store some products and wait for better markets but that means not getting paid and the bills still come. All products can't be stored either. Also, the farm bill is primarily the SNAP program. Nearly 2/3 of the money in the farm bill goes to nutrition. Agriculture is less than one half of one percent of the federal spending. Please don't complain with your mouth full.

  • HDStreetGlide Feb 28, 7:32 p.m.

    alshomes your comment is so true...let's put people that are on unemployement benfits out in the field working. I grew up in the fields and if lost my job tomorrow I would go back to the fields if I had too. Any job is better that no job, people would rather sit at home getting fat than working any job!!!

  • ykm Feb 28, 5:16 p.m.

    Import food it's cheaper.

  • xylem01 Feb 28, 4:36 p.m.

    Effectively we end up paying $9/quart anyway because of the expenses illegal aliens burden society with. -TVs_Deceit

    OK. I'll play. But we're not just talking strawberries here. Look at ALL the produce in the grocery store. ALL the construction work being done. And besides......have you actually gone to a farm/construction site and asked any of the workers there if they are here illegally or not?

    How many of them do you actually believe are illegal and legal?

    If you suspect someone is here illegally why don't you go up and ask them or call the authorities?

  • TVs_Deceit Feb 28, 3:45 p.m.

    "the farmers don't want to hire them [Americans]"

    They'd hire Americans if they didn't have an option.

    The reason illegal aliens are illegal is that they don't have a legal right to be here. The farmers are accessories to a crime. Farmers don't have a right to illegal labor, and they're breaking the law by hiring illegal labor.

    Cut off their supply of illegal workers and farmers will hire American's all day every day.

  • lessismore Feb 28, 3:42 p.m.

    Why don't they just hire the 30,000 illegal immigrant criminals Obama just let out of prison, in advance of the sequester. Obama swore to defend and protect the constitution, and the United States.....he failed.

  • TVs_Deceit Feb 28, 3:36 p.m.

    xylem01: "The consumer ends up paying for the increased taxes/wages. Say $9/quart strawberries for an example."

    What you forgot about is the additional attached costs for the cheap labor. Effectively we end up paying $9/quart anyway because of the expenses illegal aliens burden society with. The farmers get cheap labor, but everyone's taxes and fees and other associated costs increase.

    We have to pay for schools for their kids plus accommodate them in multiple ways because English isn't their native language. If they get sick or injured they're most likely to go to the emergency room and run up bills they'll never pay. Social services like food stamps. Taking money out of the local economy because they send their wages back to their country.

    The list goes on and on, which costs us all in the long run. It doesn't show up in grocery prices, but it shows up in other ways.

  • SaveEnergyMan Feb 28, 3:25 p.m.

    What xylem and Superman are really talking about is how immigration, trade laws, and gov't inattention/tinkering have destroyed the natural supply/demand rules.

    Farm (and construction) labor has gotten cheaper because of immigrants - legal and illegal. This skews the price down - good for consumers until you consider the true costs.

    We have to start with adequate protections for the farmer - importing cheap produce because labor costs are low cannot continue. We need to pay these workers a living wage, determined by supply and demand. This will raise prices for food, but the markets will balance this through wage increases price adjustments for other products - supply and demand will work if given a chance.

    We then need common sense immigration law that allows a reasonable number of Latinos into the country and a streamlined process for them to legally immigrant and become citizens.

  • Save It Feb 28, 2:54 p.m.

    So the conservative solution is: Go on unemployment and get sent to the fields if you want a check. That about sum it up?

  • Save It Feb 28, 2:49 p.m.

    Truth is even if you took "slackers out of a welfare line" or they come to the fields of their own accord willing to work for $2 an hour less than Hispanics the farmers don't want to hire them. Most Americans not only won't but often can't perform as well field work as someone from south of the border.

  • Save It Feb 28, 2:45 p.m.

    "Farm Bureau is an insurance company"

    Not much of one anymore. They're fighting to get out of consumer insurance as fast as they can.

  • Save It Feb 28, 2:44 p.m.

    "I agree, you have more state and federal agencies on your back than any other industry that I can think of". - 4Strikes

    Know what they're doing on their back? Writing subsidy checks. Your supported, conservative version of welfare. OK for business, not for individuals.

  • Save It Feb 28, 2:41 p.m.

    I think it's hard for many to admit that most Mexicans typically work circles around Americans in construction and Ag. Just ask anyone who's worked in either field and they will reluctantly but almost always admit it.

  • pchuck88 Feb 28, 2:40 p.m.

    american citizens wont do this type of work

  • Save It Feb 28, 2:39 p.m.

    4Strikes and you're still not out?

  • aetius476 Feb 28, 2:25 p.m.

    "My husband, myself and my children do these jobs and so can they, but they would rather write down that they came out to work and report back to unemployment and draw that check so they can sit on their behinds!" - Farm Hand

    Thank you! As long as our government is willing to redistribute tax money in the guise of welfare, Food Stamps, and extended UE benefits without any requirement to work, US citizens will NOT do these jobs.

    If you were faced with starvation or homelessness, or picking tobacco or cukes, you would get to like the great outdoors and a little sweat for a day's work. I have done it. As a young man, a hard day's labor made me feel good physically and mentally.

    But today, manual labor is looked down on and considered only fit for brown spanish speakers...

  • ripetomatoes Feb 28, 2:15 p.m.

    Just because Farm Bureau says so?
    Seriously?

  • xylem01 Feb 28, 2:14 p.m.

    @NiceNSmooth, the farmers don't NEED them as much as they just want to pay very low wages. If the farmers want to stay in business let them pay wages and taxes to hire US born Citizens that are unemployeed and willing to work their farms to feed and provide for their families. Farmers are no better then any other business that has to pay fair wages, taxes and healthcare for their employees!
    Working4aLiving

    And always remember and never forget.....the farmer's are passing their savings along to consumers. I'm sure they would love to pay a living wage to any worker they could find but keep in mind that cost to them WILL be passed along.

    Ever stop to think how much that gallon of milk really costs in the store? Here's an analogy......You pay 1.35 for a 16 ouz bottle of water and don't think twice about it. Yet you WHINE to high heaven when gas goes to 3.70 a gallon. Multiply that 1.35 for that bottle of water by 8 (pints per gallon) and you get 10.80 for WATER. WATER! I'll say it

  • ripetomatoes Feb 28, 2:14 p.m.

    @NiceNSmooth, the farmers don't NEED them as much as they just want to pay very low wages. If the farmers want to stay in business let them pay wages and taxes to hire US born Citizens that are unemployeed and willing to work their farms to feed and provide for their families. Farmers are no better then any other business that has to pay fair wages, taxes and healthcare for their employees!

    Working4aLiving

    Your plan is great, unless you want to eat.

  • Working4aLiving Feb 28, 1:52 p.m.

    @NiceNSmooth, the farmers don't NEED them as much as they just want to pay very low wages. If the farmers want to stay in business let them pay wages and taxes to hire US born Citizens that are unemployeed and willing to work their farms to feed and provide for their families. Farmers are no better then any other business that has to pay fair wages, taxes and healthcare for their employees!

  • kermit60 Feb 28, 1:42 p.m.

    Is it they can't find the workers or they can't find ones willing to work for what they pay migrants? How many people collecting billions in govt free stuff could do these jobs? I don't think the word work has been restricted yet, has it?

  • NiceNSmooth Feb 28, 1:27 p.m.

    ha ha I find it hilarious that FARMERS are now saying they need the illegal immigrant. Now you cant get more red neck than a farmer in NC .... and for them to admitt our economy needs them is great!!!

    Better start treating these people a lot nicer when you see them out!!!

  • rroadrunner99 Feb 28, 1:03 p.m.

    If you let them in for one group tomorrow another company will be in Raleigh crying that they need the illegal immigrant help for their comapny to operate. If one get's them then you'll have to let them all get them, back to where we are now. Send the farmer to the Unemployment office, let him hire some help that their unemployment has run out.

  • Working4aLiving Feb 28, 12:53 p.m.

    So....let's let the farmers keep their CHEAP workers because they don't want to pay fair wages and while we are at it let's bring more illegal immigrants across the border to help them and the one's of us that actually pay taxes and our own healthcare can feed, house, provide healthcare and provide educations to them and their children. Our unemployee rate is out of control, but instead of providing jobs to our own and paying them (fair wages)....our farmers are begging to keep the cheap illegal immigrants. And we wonder what is wrong with the US today.

  • Geez Louise Feb 28, 12:49 p.m.

    @xylem01: Nailed it.

  • xylem01 Feb 28, 12:43 p.m.

    Maybe they could attract workers by increasing their pay. - superman

    Bet this would be like raising taxes. The consumer ends up paying for the increased taxes/wages. Say $9/quart strawberries for an example.

    Sounds like most here want their cake and eat it too. Can't have it both ways. Same with Wal-Mart, Made In China, imported from *insert country here*.

    No solution.....just rinse and repeat!

  • Geez Louise Feb 28, 12:41 p.m.

    If you're unemployed and reading this, here's a job for you!!

  • 4Strikes Feb 28, 12:39 p.m.

    "The farmers cannot get employees because they wages they offer are too low to employ anyone but the desperate. pay and they will come....people happily work in horrendous conditions if he pay is right." Grand Union

    " A well regulated scheme would make it easy for both farmers and workers to stay within the law. The farmers get rich using cheap labor and the labor gets to eat for another year and we get cheaper lettuces....." Grand Union

    Those evil rich farmers are only paying $10. an hour, plus housing...that's the problem. Liberals have never seen an American business that they don't hate. It's government run or nothing for them.

  • 4Strikes Feb 28, 12:31 p.m.

    "george bush said yall americans were to LASY to do those kind of jobs.. of course bush also said he had won the war in 2005 as well...." wildpig777

    There you go farmers...it's all Bush's fault. An old classic from liberal fantasy land.

  • tayled Feb 28, 12:26 p.m.

    Yes, the work is hard and it is appreciated. But instead of importing workers, why not send lower risk inmates, under guard of course, to harvest the fields. Bring back the old chain gang if you will and you will have a ready labor supply. It may not solve the whole problem, but it would certainly help.

  • Grand Union Feb 28, 12:24 p.m.

    "So open up the gates- Let all Illegal immigrants in , give them US citizenship and welfare benefits [ you know they don't make much, and "Free" ObamaCare too."

    Thats not what they are asking for. The big farmers want to be able to bring in cheap labor when they need it and send them home when they are finished with them. Its because they can't do that easily so many illegals come in to do the job and then they stay....and why wouldn't they.....life is hard back home and why risk not being able to get back next year? A well regulated scheme would make it easy for both farmers and workers to stay within the law. The farmers get rich using cheap labor and the labor gets to eat for another year and we get cheaper lettuces.....

  • Grand Union Feb 28, 12:18 p.m.

    The farmers cannot get employees because they wages they offer are too low to employ anyone but the desperate. pay and they will come....people happily work in horrendous conditions if he pay is right.

  • mrskathy Feb 28, 12:07 p.m.

    if you have not been involved in farming in recent years...then you don't realize the value and hard work of these workers in question.

  • mike275132 Feb 28, 12:06 p.m.

    "We have to have the Spanish labor. Most all our employees are (Latino)," said Danny McConnell, a fifth-generation farmer in Hendersonville.

    Really, They are from Spain ? long trip to pick crops.

    So open up the gates- Let all Illegal immigrants in , give them US citizenship and welfare benefits [ you know they don't make much, and "Free" ObamaCare too.

    We need another 100-200 Million on welfare

  • wildpig777 Feb 28, 12:04 p.m.

    george bush said yall americans were to LASY to do those kind of jobs.. of course bush also said he had won the war in 2005 as well....

  • Tony Snark Feb 28, 11:59 a.m.

    "One question? How on earth are these ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS more qualified to do these jobs than American citizens are?"

    By the fact that they will do it and will show up every day, not hungover, and will never complain. - I used to be in concrete construction.

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