I agree with the Herald editorial board’s June 21 comments regarding the fining of Broetje Orchards related to immigration laws. Broetje is a model U.S. business that hires large numbers of agricultural workers and provides many housing, education and social services for its employees.
So how do good companies like Broetje get in trouble? The U.S. immigration laws are politicized, outdated and unworkable. In the U.S. 12 million undocumented workers work in agriculture, construction and urban jobs that most Americans do not want to do. The U.S. economy needs these workers.
Let’s look at just one reason the U.S. immigration laws are flawed. The current law allows 5,000 lower-skilled workers (farmworkers, construction workers, domestics, etc.) to immigrate to the U.S. per year. There must be 5,000 workers in this category in Benton and Franklin counties, so how can this possibly work for the total U.S.?
If the government would provide a reasonable pathway to legal residency, increase the immigration numbers of lower skilled workers and adopt a reasonable guest worker program, the immigration difficulties could be reduced.