where did we go wrong?

I’m working on something that is effectively keeping me from blogging right now, but I thought I would share a few articles I have recently read and enjoyed. And now that the New York Times has ended its TimesSelect paid subscription service, you can read them all freely on their site.

The first is from a few weeks ago, and describes the experiences of a few American farmers, who faced with dire labor shortages, have rented land in Mexico to farm. I find this interesting on many levels. Read “Short on labor, farmers in U.S. shift to Mexico.

“Farming since he was a teenager, Mr. (Steve) Scaroni, 50, built a $50 million business growing lettuce and broccoli in the fields of California, relying on the hands of immigrant workers, most of them Mexican and many probably in the United States illegally.

But early last year he began shifting part of his operation to rented fields here (in Mexico). Now some 500 Mexicans tend his crops in Mexico, where they run no risk of deportation.

”I’m as American red-blood as it gets,” Mr. Scaroni said, ”but I’m tired of fighting the fight on the immigration issue.”

The second story was published today, and discusses a New Jersey town that is rethinking their anti-“illegal” immigrant ordinance, which since passed one year ago, has slowed the town’s economy and caused the closure of a number of formerly thriving businesses. Read “Towns rethink laws against illegal immigrants.

“I don’t think people knew there would be such an economic burden,” said Mayor George Conard, who voted for the original ordinance. “A lot of people did not look three years out.”

Brilliant. I’m so AMAZED that anti-immigrant sorts had not thought through the “economic burden” before passing these sorts of laws.  I mean, good lord, if you drive 3,000 young, hard-working, upwardly mobile people with money to spend on entertainment and services and children to feed out of a small town, what the h*ll do you think is going to happen?

I do understand that certain people — those who are ONLY willing to consider the lawfulness of a person’s entry into this country as a basis of judgment — do not care about the health of the U.S. economy, or the benefits immigrants have on underpopulated, fading rural towns, but really, what were the rest of them thinking?

More soon. Promise.

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