Migrant workers are all over the world, it is estimated that there are 185 million migrant workers spread around the world. The ones that get the most attention are in California, this is a controversial issue in this state, and every day they are denied more and more their basic human rights. In USA alone there are 10.8 million illegal migrant workers, that is 5.4 percent of the American workforce of 148 million. Out of these workers, 78 percent are Hispanic, most come from Mexico to work labour jobs (1 out of 5 work in construction, and 24 percent of the farming force is made of illegal migrants). If we consider these large numbers, migrant workers are a force in american economics, in 2004 there was a major government crackdown on illegal workers, 1 billion dollars were lost on neglected crops due to this fact. We must ask ourselves, what rights do these people have? Bills such as the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act are in place for protection, but without unions or strict oversight, their rights are often undermined. What often baffles me is that the majority of the farming industry uses illegal workers to tend to their crops, for example, 90 percent of the 950 apple growers in Michigan use illegal labour. Adam Ramirez, a retired mushroom worker, put it best:
“The farm worker is the most mistreated of all, yet it is the farm worker who feeds the world. No one else wants to do this work. Everyone needs us–the entire world needs farm workers.”
This is issue is even more relevant and important since the passing of the Arizona law against immigrants, this controversial law is meant to pass in either July or August, but people have not been quiet and have been protesting to demonstrate their opposition. This law would make it a crime under state law to be in the US illegally, it directs its law enforcement to question anyone about their immigration status is they may look like they would be illegal. There have been protests everyday since the passing of this controversial and blatantly racist bill, protesters used refried beans to smear swastikas on the state capitol. The protests are getting more and more heated everyday (unfortunately one protest did turn violent, some neo-nazi idiots showed up to protest illegal immigrants) and getting more attention from people around the country. President Obama is considering the legality of this new bill and its methods of racial profiling. He stated that he might have to intervene legally to overturn it, this is all depending on what will be concluded after they study the law.
I find it funny, the government wants to cut spending, but it is going to cost a lot of money to deport all illegal workers and to maintain the border to make sure that no one jumps the fence, so why not give them all amnesty and then at least they will pay taxes? I guess logic is not always the governments strong suit. Make sure to keep an eye on this issue, lets make sure that migrants have basic human rights at the very least. Stay informed and make sure to let everyone you know about this, knowledge is power and the more we now, the more we can make sure that every human being is treated as a human being. If you feel passionate about this you can also take action!
Fair Food Across Borders : http://fairfoodacrossborders.org/
Lets not forget that we showed up on boats about 400 years ago illegally, so who are we to judge and deny opportunity to other people? Like Propagandhi say “And we thought that Nation States were a bad idea?” and of course…. Fuck the Border!