Response to an op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer

Below is a response to an op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer.  I think it may be of general interest.  Please share your thoughts about it with me.  Lee @TABASFUNDING.

An op-ed piece in the Thursday, August 8, 2019 Inquirer by Rachel Micah-Jones was headlined “U.S. summer visa program exploits international workers.” My observation of summer workers is that they are mostly college students that want the American experience. They work as camp counselors and serve ice cream in seashore towns.  I’ve met seasonal waiters that work in mountain resorts in the summer, and the Caribbean in the winter.  If the college students felt exploited, they would tell their friends, and soon there would be no more applicants for these positions.  Seasonal hotel waiters often return to work in the US, year after year. If they felt exploited, they would not return. 

Another article in the paper covered a raid on chicken processing plants in Louisiana.  680 illegal workers were arrested.  Even though Elvis was a chicken plucker early in his career, this work struggles to find US Citizens who want to do it.  The H2A and B programs, which are for temporary seasonal farm and non-farm workers ought to be expanded.  These programs started during WW I and II to make up for the labor shortage, and continue to this day.  At the present time, there is about a 270,000 cap on the number of H2A and B workers. That may sound like a lot, but of the 800,000 US farm workers, there is general agreement that about half are illegal immigrants. 

Diane Feinstein, Democratic senator from California, suggests that we streamline and expand the H2A farm worker program, and try to get some of the current illegal workers into it. Sounds good for chicken processing workers as well.  Why not have them come out of the shadows?  They are eager for the work, and their results benefit all of us at the market. 

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