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Prior to 2020 the United States has experienced a decrease in illegal immigration numbers compared to the last 10-20 years. Despite President Trump's administration's attempt to close borders, an action which seems to fuel rather than deter the rush to cross-over, the real catalyst to rigid immigration reforms, became the forefront back in 2001, as policies were rewritten and enacted after the attacks on 9/11.
Following the creation of the USA Patriot Act that President George W. Bush signed in October of 2001, subsequent reforms followed, such as the 2004 Intelligence Reform and Prevention act. However, aside from the enhanced security, other measures were implemented that constricted the mobility of immigrants already living in the United States--like blocking unauthorized aliens from obtaining driver's licenses, and stricter requirements for asylum seekers, among others.
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Many of these unauthorized aliens affected by these efforts are migrant workers--not only did they become more restricted, but deportations also increased in numbers during the Obama administration, in turn affecting the production of the local farms that relied on the harvesting of their crops.
The pandemic was a blow to the economy in 2020. As businesses closed, farm workers kept to their toilUnsplash
How did this affect agriculture?
There are about 3 million seasonal and migrant farm workers in the United States, about 75% of those workers are undocumented. In 2020 ICE Agents, unleashed by the Trump administration, unpredictably, stormed warehouses, staked-out courthouses, and apprehended farm workers as they worked on the fields, not only increasing the mental stress of the workers but also of farm owners, negatively affecting an industry fraught by economic and climatic pressures beyond their control.
These actions leave farm owners no choice but to acquire new workers, even if they are illegal, there are not many U.S. citizens pounding at the door for work, and the laws do not make it easy, but the need to tend to their crops outweigh the risks involved in hiring unauthorized workers. So, what's the solution to the problem? Legal immigration. According to Farmer Law, "United States immigration laws and procedures are complicated… which is why it's important to have the right legal assistance throughout the entire process." In other words, with the right legal support, legal immigration is very possible; and needless to say, both the workers and employees would benefit greatly.
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Ignoring the plight of the farm worker
The pandemic was a blow to the economy in 2020. As businesses closed, farm workers kept to their toil, without the health benefits, nor time-off, they are what kept this economy going despite the fear of contracting Covid. Yet many anti-immigration advocates do not recognize the work of these migrant workers. In an industry where most American Citizens refuse the work, unauthorized immigrants are still blamed for taking their jobs.
President Biden proposes an overhaul
But Republican sentiment is that of an out of control illegal immigration incited by Biden's reversal of Trump's Immigration policies. It is proposed in this farmer law bill that illegal workers who have worked over the past two years get certified agriculture status. In March, the American Farm Workforce Modernization Act passed the House, 247-174--President Biden called it: "critical first step...building a 21st immigration system that is grounded in dignity, safety, and fairness..." Let's hope the senate feels the same way.
Passing this bill by the senate not only improves the chances for immigrants to legalize their status in this country, it avoids loss of taxpayers dollars and benefits, it also keeps America fed
Disclaimer: (This article is sponsored and include some commercial links)