Miami, FL (Law Firm Newswire) July 31, 2012 – This year’s farm crop may not be quite as plentiful. The food shortages generated later, along with higher costs, will be linked to massive crackdowns on illegal immigration.
“You can’t speak out of both sides of your mouth and not have something catch up with you later,” insisted Larry S. Rifkin, managing partner at Rifkin & Fox-Isicoff, an immigration law firm with law offices in Miami, Florida and Orlando, Florida.
“On one hand the government keeps saying they will work on reforming the immigration system to welcome more immigrants. On the other, they sanction massive crackdowns on illegal immigrants. Just as an example, in Alabama, tomato farmers have drastically reduced the number of acres planted this year, as they are afraid they won’t have enough workers to pick them,” he explained. If it happens in Alabama, it can happen anywhere in the nation.
This is not a new problem, as last season saw a marked decline in the number of immigrants on hand to harvest. Again, the lack of people to do the work was related to the Alabama immigration law the governor signed into being. That law and the increasing number of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids nation-wide are decimating the seasonal labor pool in virtually every state. This in turn means either ruined crops that do not get to market or smaller crops now and/or smaller crops in the future for lack of labor to harvest them, resulting in scarcity pricing. “No one wins in a situation like that,” added Rifkin.
While farmers are able to seed other crops that do not require hand-picking, such as peanuts or cotton, it means food shortages in the produce section at the grocery store. “And really, that is not the issue, seeding an alternative crop. The issue is cutting back on existing food crops, which impacts the food industry in a negative way. When immigrant labor is short or non-existent, we all pay for it, one way or another,” Rifkin observed.
The bottom line is that by making it difficult for illegal aliens to live and work in a state, and driving them out, labor shortages are chronic. Since Americans do not want to work the fields, the impact of that choice to not work ultimately reflects in what is served at the dinner table. “Is that what we want at the end of the day? Likely not,” said Rifkin, “but at the rate we are going, the ‘unintended’ consequences of politically motivated decisions in the immigration area will drive us there, and then, what do we do?”
Rifkin & Fox-Isicoff, P.A.
1110 Brickell Avenue
Miami, Florida 33131
Toll Free: (866) 681-0202