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How Obama's amnesty declaration will make your grocery store foods even more expensive in the future

Executive amnesty

(NaturalNews) In recent weeks, there has been much political discussion over President Obama's decision to enact a sort of executive amnesty for illegal aliens via the federal bureaucracy, to allow as many as 6 million of them to remain in the country legally, without fear of being deported.

Many members of Congress have decried the president's action as unconstitutional, as have a number of citizens, noting that any changes to immigration statutes must be enacted first by the legislative branch.

But as is usually the case, every action tends to cause some kind of reaction; no one-size-fits-all policy on the federal level is ever enacted without some sort of cause and effect.

In this case, the effect of Obama's actions could show up at a supermarket near you, as soon as this year.

As reported by The Associated Press, California farmers -- where the bulk of the nation's produce is grown -- are searching for enough workers to fill the ranks this spring when harvest time comes around, because they "fear an even greater labor shortage under" the president's "executive action to block some 5 million people from deportation."

This isn't going to bring in new workers

Thousands of California's farm workers comprise a significant portion of those who will be covered by Obama's amnesty (which was actually implemented via the Department of Homeland Security). As such, some labor and policy analysts believe that many will opt out of the seasonal work to find more steady, year-round employment in other sectors like the food, entertainment and service industries.

"This action isn't going to bring new workers to agriculture," Jason Resnick, vice president and general counsel of the powerful trade association Western Growers, told the AP. "It's possible that because of this action, agriculture will lose workers without any mechanism to bring in new workers."

Though the administration's immigration policy details have not yet been finalized, Resnick further explained that the agricultural workforce in California and elsewhere has already been on the decline for a decade or so. As such, his association has estimated recently that there may be a 15 to 20 percent shortage of farm workers, and that is leading the agriculture industry to push for major reforms in Congress -- such as calling for a sound guest worker program.

"Hopefully there will be the opportunity for comprehensive immigration reform," Karen Ross, secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, told the newswire service. "That's the right thing to do for this country."

In all, California has about 330,000 farm workers, the largest share of some 2.1 million total farm workers throughout the country, say U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics figures. Texas is second but nowhere close to California, with about half as many farm workers.

Many will take the steady work

The AP further reported:

Once Obama's executive action starts going into effect next year, it will protect the parents of legal U.S. residents from deportation and expand a 2012 program that shields from deportation people brought into the U.S. illegally as children.

The head of the Fresno-based Nisei Farmers League, Manual Cunha, believes about 85 percent of California's farm workers are utilizing phony documents in order to obtain work.

Cunha has advised the Obama Administration on immigration policy, and he says there are probably 50,000 California farm workers who could benefit from the recent executive amnesty, meaning they will leave the fields for other jobs, thereby hamstringing the state's $46.4 billion agriculture industry.

"How do I replace that?" he said to the AP. "I think we're going to have a problem."

It's not as though working a farm is a bad deal economically; many farm workers are paid above minimum wage. But Cuhna and other analysts believe scores who no longer fear deportation will nonetheless leave the agriculture industry for lower-paying, but year-long, steady jobs in other business sectors.

That will likely mean farmers will have to pay even higher wages to attract new workers, making their produce more expensive and therefore leading to higher prices in stores this next year.





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