The promised and belated immigration reform will also benefit rural sectors, which have lost much of their population and desperately need migrant workers to improve their economy.
According to the latest national census, the rural American population has lost much of its population, and if immigration reform is passed, migrant workers could boost the economy of the sector favorably. Many rural companies have pointed out the problem and are demanding Congress the creation of legal avenues to guarantee the residence of migrant agricultural workers.
Census data also reveals that some recent population increases in some rural areas were primarily driven by Latino residents or migrants. Many originally entered the country as migrant workers or to start their own ventures.
“We have struggled on this issue for a long time to try to find a more reasonable and common-sense approach. Vilifying immigrants only makes it more difficult to get there.”
Commented John Hansen, president of the Nebraska Farmers Union, part of a group of farmworkers in favor of immigration reform.
Some Republican state lawmakers blamed the labor shortage on supplemental unemployment benefits, which they say do not incentivize work because they pay more than some low-wage jobs. Instead, Democrats see a persistent job crisis in the sector.
Immigration reform and the difficulties in recruiting workers in rural areas
The population trend is clear in Nebraska, where only 24 of the state’s 93 counties recently gained residents. A recent study by David Drozd, coordinator of the Center for Public Affairs Research at the University of Nebraska in Omaha, suggests that most of the growth was driven by minorities and migrant sectors.
Drozd analyzed the census data and found that the Nebraska counties with the most racial diversity are those where businesses like meatpacking plants are located. Without Latino growth, Drozd adds, employers in these areas would be struggling even harder to fill those positions.
In New Mexico, the population declined in 20 rural counties stretching from the Great Plains in Oklahoma to the US-Mexico border. Desperate for workers to guarantee Chile’s annual harvest, the state this week pledged to provide up to $ 5 million in federal pandemic aid to subsidize the wages of pickers and workers at Chile’s processing plants, increasing available wages to $ 19.50. The time. The New Mexico Chile Association says the industry is short of about 1,350 temporary workers out of the 3,000 workers needed.
The same occurs in many other rural areas of the country, where the labor of migrant agricultural workers is increasingly needed, and immigration reform is offered as the only possible solution to the economic and population decline of the sector.
For many Republicans in rural areas, migrant workers should have “a path to legal residence.”
Nancy Weeks, secretary of the Republican Party for Haskell County in southwestern Kansas, said that if undocumented immigrants living in the United States want to move to the area and work, they must be provided with a way to obtain legal status.
“I have no problem with them coming here as long as they are legal. It is the ones who do not become legal that I have a problem with.”
The challenge is bigger in Midwestern states that have the highest unemployment rates in the country. Al Juhnke, executive director of the Nebraska Pork Producers Association, said his organization would like to see changes that allow seasonal migrant workers to stay in the country longer.
“These people buy houses. They bring their families. They go to our churches. They make money and spend it locally. It is really beneficial for these communities. “
Previously, other studies showed that immigration reform is a way to ensure the economic prosperity of the country, in addition to allowing millions of migrants who live and work in the United States as children to be out of illegality. It is becoming increasingly clear that securing this important reform is the necessary path to a better future for all Americans.
If you are in need of immigration legal advice, do not hesitate to contact us! At the Law Office of Shelle-Ann Simon we have wide experience in immigration proceedings, family law, and personal injury and have successfully defended our clients for over 10 years. Contact us through our website or give us a call at (281) 606-0800!