getting students to engage the news…
“…a University of Georgia report projects that, when 2011 figures are tallied, the state economy will show a $391 million loss due to farm labor shortages. Georgia is one of several states that – following Arizona’s footsteps – recently passed laws aimed at illegal immigration.”
As you can see from the quote above, this is an issue that is affecting our state as well as the national economy. Have you ever thought about this particular ramification of tougher immigration laws?
I think this story highlights the PULL relationship that has existed in this country in terms of immigration. Whle politicians love to talk about the potential problems associated with migrant work populations, it is important to realize that many industries in the United States, agriculture being one, have COMPELLED “affordable labor” to come to America to keep harvesting costs down. The substantial migrant population in this country is here for a reason – because they were incentivized to come here – numerous jobs were available particularly through the 1990s, but then the economy worsened creating less demand for the surplus labor.
Now that states like Georgia are enacting tougher immigration laws, this population is passing over our state. This can have significant economic effects as the UGA study suggests. Not only for armers, for you as well. If farmers across the state lost almost $400 B in produce because it couldn’t be harvested, what do you think this does to the price of the produce that is harvested and you find in the market?
Now, no one would reasonably suggest that we open the flood gates in an unregulated way, but I believe we can agree that we need to come up with a more “mutually beneficial’ solution to this challenge. How would you handle this issue? As part of your answer go find a solution out there that makes sense to you!