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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

FLYING CARS, JETPACKS TO HELP FARMERS REPLACE IMMIGRANTS

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Remember when we were kids and flying cars were supposed to the future? Where are the flying car?!! This was a rather silly story that appeared in the NY Times this morning. It will take years before this kind of technology is widespread and most small farmers operating on marginal profits are not likely to survive without labor in the short and medium term.

With authorities promising tighter borders, some farmers who rely on
immigrant labor are eyeing an emerging generation of fruit-picking
robots and high-tech tractors to do everything from pluck premium wine
grapes to clean and core lettuce.



Such machines, now in various
stages of development, could become essential for harvesting delicate
fruits and vegetables that are still picked by hand.



''If we want
to maintain our current agriculture here in California, that's where
mechanization comes in,'' said Jack King, national affairs manager for
the California Farm Bureau.



California harvests about half the
nation's fruits, nuts and vegetables, according to the state Food and
Agriculture Department. The California Farm Bureau Federation estimates
that the job requires about 225,000 workers year-round and double that
during the peak summer season.



More than half of all farm workers in the country are illegal immigrants, according to U.S. Department of Labor statistics.

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Comments

  1. Another voice's Avatar
    US government wants to turn a blind eye to this situation if you have the people to do the job here and right now then they should be allowed to work. If they want to wait for the robbots it may may take a few years of lost crops before they get them.
  2. alfie's Avatar
    This is very good. When illegals are out, we can start developing new technology and employing more engineers and high-skilled labor. With illegals we only stagnate. It's very bad when the labor is so cheap that you use people rather than technology. For example, instead of buying cars you use people to pull you in a cart around - this is ridiculous!
  3. roboticproposition's Avatar
    This is an interesting proposition for the replacement of immigrants - legal or illegals. How about the proposition of using ROBOTS to guard the border Area especially in the US Mexico border? And also, how about the proposition of using ROBOTS in the US Health Care system?

  4. alan's Avatar
    Maybe we should replace grandma with a robot too.
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