In a tongue-in-cheek call for immigration reform, farm workers are teaming up with comedian Stephen Colbert to challenge unemployed Americans: Come on, take our jobs.
Farm workers are tired of being blamed by politicians and anti-immigrant activists for taking work that should go to Americans and dragging down the economy, said Arturo Rodriguez, the president of the United Farm Workers of America.
The group is encouraging the unemployed to apply for some of the thousands of agricultural jobs being posted with state agencies as harvest season begins. All applicants need to do is fill out an online form at www.takeourjobs.org and experienced field hands will train them and connect them to farms.
Proponents of tougher immigration laws have argued that farmers have become used to cheap labor and don't want to raise wages enough to draw in other workers.
"The reality is farm workers who are here today aren't taking any American jobs away," Rodriguez said. "I don't think there will be many takers, but the offer is being made. Let's see what happens."
California's agriculture industry launched a similar campaign in 1998, hoping to recruit welfare recipients and unemployed workers to work on farms. Three people showed up.
Reprinted from cattlenetwork.com