So, Donald Trump has basically said everybody is deportable. Well, not those of us who are US citizens. But if you aren’t? Well.
There’s a problem with that, though: California farmers are going to lose their work force. At which point defenders of their God-Emperor Donald the Trump whine, “there’s a farmworker visa they can use to get the labor they need!”
Really? Let’s go look at that visa, the H-2A Temporary Agricultural Workers visa:
The current H-2A Temporary Agricultural Workers visa works fine for states like North Carolina that have an actual growing season and a specific set of crops requiring a specific set of skills. Their association of North Carolina agricultural producers named as a joint employer can hire H-2A workers then allocate them to farmers on an as-needed basis during the growing season, then send them home at the end of the growing season. But that doesn’t work at all for states like California that have a year round growing season with wildly varying labor requirements based on what’s happening at any given moment of time. H-2A basically allows an agricultural worker to be here in the US for, practically speaking, 9 months out of every year. California has a year-round growing season. H-2A also requires the worker to be employed in agriculture for a single employer for the entire time. But California agriculture is “bursty” — a farmer will need a hundred workers to pick the lemons over a two week period of time, then a dozen workers to prune the lemon trees afterwards. During the time that California agriculture doesn’t need workers, workers travel to other Western states to commit random acts of agriculture there, too, or work construction or other jobs while waiting for the next burst of labor to be needed, or simply sit unemployed for a few weeks between agricultural jobs. This would not be permitted under the H-2A visa.
The reality is that California agriculture is reliant upon Mexican migrant workers. We don’t have another workforce available with the level of flexibility of the current workforce, which is constantly shifting around or periodically unemployed as the farmers hire the workers they need when they need them then let them go at the end of the need. Americans today seem to lack the intestinal fortitude to give up their stable comfortable life and live the migrant life. Heck, they lack the intestinal fortitude to deal with change at all, see, e.g., the resistance to the fact that the city of Santa Clara is changing as migrant technology workers move here. Does anybody really think that a people that throws a hissy fit over a four-story apartment building changing their city’s skyscape is going to be able to deal with the change needed to follow crops around the state of California picking, pruning, and weeding? Yeah. We’re fat, comfortable, and self-entitled. Not happening. Not even if the Mexicans all get deported. How many readers of this post are going to move out to the Central Valley and start picking lemons and strawberries once the Mexicans are deported, then move northwards as the growing season moves northward, then back south as the growing season ends in the north? SNORK! Yeah right. That’s for *other* people to do. And I’ll add myself to that number saying “that’s for other people to do”, because I’ve done hard physical work outdoors in 100 degree summer heat before, and at my age have no intention of doing it again.
So yeah, Trump’s about to fuck all of us. Because California grows most of the nation’s fruits and vegetables. Hope you like potatoes, Kansas, ’cause you ain’t gonna see any fruits or vegetables for a *long* time if the Orange Racist Pussy Grabber gets his way.
– Badtux the Former Farmer Penguin