One of the most widely repeated claims against enacting immigration
reform is the argument that immigrants take jobs from American workers.
Today, in response, the United Farm Workers (UFW) launched a new “Take Our Jobs” campaign. The UFW
is inviting American citizens and legal residents to fill the farm jobs
that are mostly occupied by undocumented labor:
In a letter to U.S. lawmakers, UFW offers farm
workers who are “ready to train citizens and legal residents who wish to
replace immigrants in the fields,” and encourages Members of Congress
to refer their constituents to vacant farm worker positions.
UFW has locations across the country where Members of Congress can
direct their constituents willing to do work on large-scale farms.
Employers will be on hand at each site to answer questions, meet
prospective employees and assist in the application process. All who are
interested or unemployed and are legal residents or U.S. citizens are
encouraged to apply.
In reality, the UFW knows that response to the program will likely be
low. Agriculture is ranked amongst the three most
hazardous occupations in the nation. For every 100,000 agricultural
workers in the U.S. in 2007, there were 25.7 occupational
deaths. That’s because farm workers are
exposed to toxic pesticides, work under the hot sun for 10-12 hours a
day, handle hazardous tools and machinery, and live in crowded
condition with poor sanitation. In return, most farm workers earn