Four Hispanics work faster than 25 Americans

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Original article ‘Few Americans take immigrants’ jobs in Alabama’ appeared in Houston Chronicle on Friday, Oct. 21, 2011.

“A crew of four Hispanics can earn about $150 each by picking 250-300 boxes of tomatoes in a day. A crew of 25 Americans recently picked 200 boxes – giving them each $24 for the day,” says a farmer in Alabama.

This is not an article about who works harder, but rather, farmers are saying that they will have to downsize. Why? Well, after Alabama’s tough immigration law took effect and many immigrant workers left, farmers have had to hire Americans. It has not worked out because they show up late, they work slower, and are ready to call it a day after lunch. So back to what I initially said, farmers are saying they will have to downsize or let crops die on the vine. Many are worried about next year.

This could mean higher prices for tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, and all kinds of other produce because of a shortage. Not to mention the headaches and anxiety farmers are now facing from trying to find workers who can help with the farm. The article goes on to say that it may make sense for Americans to sit on the couch versus working. Unemployment benefits provide up to $265 a week while a minimum wage job, at $7.25 an hour for 40 hours, brings in $290. Isn’t that crazy? Jobs are available for Americans yet they are unwilling to do them because the hours are long and the work is hard.

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