Illegal immigration and cabbage patch babies

In north Georgia, cabbage patch babies may be the high-end figment of a dollmaker’s imagination.

But in at least one corner of south Georgia, they are a flesh-and-blood problem that lies near the heart of this state’s illegal immigration dilemma.

Paul Bridges, mayor of Uvalda, Ga., at a state Capitol press conference. Phil Skinner, pskinner@ajc.com

Paul Bridges, mayor of Uvalda, Ga., at a state Capitol press conference. Phil Skinner, pskinner@ajc.com

On Thursday, the ACLU and several other civil rights organizations filed the long-expected federal lawsuit challenging Georgia’s new illegal immigration law. The first object is to block its July 1 effective date.

The lawsuit is salted with individual plaintiffs, an attempt to pack as much human drama as possible into what’s likely to become a very long and very dry courtroom experience.

The list includes illegal immigrants, an older child of a couple with no legal right to live here, a Teamster official who hauls paperless workers in his 12-seat van, and a retired Air Force colonel who does charity work among legal and illegal migrants.

But the only elected official to join the lawsuit was Paul Bridges, the Spanish-speaking, first-term mayor of tiny Uvalda in Montgomery County. He is described in the lawsuit as a Republican, but “swing voter” may be a more apt description.

His farming town has perhaps 600 souls. There is no grocery store, no doctor, no dentist. Bridges regularly ferries workers to nearby Vidalia, the onion capital of the world. The mayor first learned about HB 87, the legislation in question, when he gave a pair of workers a ride to the Mexican consulate in Atlanta.

The primary argument for Bridges’ inclusion in the lawsuit is that he could run afoul of Georgia’s new law, which forbids “knowingly” transporting or harboring illegal immigrants. “Some of them I know are citizens — very young citizens. I’m not sure about their parents. I’m not sure about their grandparents,” Bridges, 59, said during a state Capitol news conference.

(The authors of the legislation say the new law does not apply to Georgians who commit occasional acts of kindness. But this is why we have judges and courthouses.)

Yet Bridges has a more emotional reason for joining the legal action. He talks of Uvalda’s many blended families — migrants who have married legal residents over the years, couples who have produced children.

“For instance, the grandmother who has papers. The daughter doesn’t have papers. The grandson is a citizen,” the mayor said. What happens, he asked, when a supporting husband is sent back to Mexico, leaving a dependent wife and child? Both are likely to end up on welfare.

Late last month, Bridges called for a “summit,” held in the town’s community center, to discuss the situation. Senate President pro tem Tommie Williams, R-Lyons, was there. So was state Rep. Greg Morris, R-Vidalia. Both men voted for HB 87.

There was general agreement on what has produced mixed families in the area. Seasonal harvests — onions, in particular — once required a short-term labor force that quickly moved on. But over the years, farmers have expanded their winter crop production.

They’ve added turnips, collards, but especially cabbage. Winter crops create the need for a year-round labor force, and vice versa. Year-round living leads to long-term relationships, and relationships create family trees.

Entire cabbage-patch families, if you will.

“Migrants used to travel around, but now that we created this produce market, they’re staying all year,” Williams said during that meeting.

What to do about the situation is where the difference lies. Morris, the House member, said in a telephone interview that he doesn’t want to appear heartless, but chips will have to be allowed to fall where they may.

When a man robs a bank and is caught, Morris said, he puts his family at risk. “You’re splitting up a family. A child is going to be hurt,” he said. The responsibility, Morris said, lies with the illegal resident.

As for farmers, he said, they are used to crackdowns and threats of crackdowns. “The fear of this labor situation is nothing new. They’ve lived on the edge for years,” Morris said — to the point that certain social mores have been established.

“One thing they tell you is, don’t drive a Crown Vic out into the field. You drive one of them Crown Vics with tinted windows — and they’re all hitting the woods. And they’re not coming back,” Morris said.

The lawmaker was surprised to hear that Bridges had joined the federal lawsuit. Uvalda may be something of a Democratic enclave, but Montgomery County is thoroughly Republican and conservative.

“His views aren’t mine, and certainly not the views of the majority of the people in my district,” Morris said.

Bridges, elected in 2009, admits that he’s not sure how local voters will react. When he left for Atlanta, the mayor told very few people of his intentions. But not for the reason you might think.

“When I told the first two, they said you shouldn’t do that, because we’re going to be targeted — that I’m going to draw attention to the ones that don’t have papers, that they’re going to be the first ones to get sent back,” Bridges said. “But I can’t just sit there and wait for them to come get me. I’ve got to move forward.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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137 comments Add your comment

Southern by the grace of God

June 4th, 2011
3:19 pm

Ahhh, poor left-wing bleeding-heart baby…SO WHAT!!!! What part of ILLEGAL do these ILLEGAL invasion advocates repeatedly refuse to not understand? All of these ILLEGAL migrant workers have no legal permission to be in the country anyway, should not have been here in the first place and should be deported IMMEDIATELY! Maybe these legal citizens who intermingled and married illegals and brought them ILLEGALLY into the country should have used their half-a-brain and and thought about the consequences of their actions before committing to relationships with ILLEGALS!
The flaunting of the law has gone on for long enough, the party’s over and the time for strict enforcement and crackdown has come and it’s time for the ILLEGALS to go BYE-BYE once and for all!

Americans deserve to pay higher prices for produce and even go hungry if they’re too darned hungry to pick it themselves! Let the crops rot in the ground until the farmers come to their senses and decide to start doing right by the American people and use LEGAL U.S. Citizens to pick the [darned] crops!

Native Atlantan2

June 4th, 2011
3:49 pm

Interesting you choose to use the term “grace” in your screen name.

No Longer Republican

June 4th, 2011
3:49 pm

What a stupid rant southern. The reason the migrants are here in the first place is Americans WON’T do the jobs. Now millions of dollars of crops will be rotting in Georgia fields and what good does that do anyone?

And by the grace of God you are an American…I’m assuming, but if you were born into the poverty and crime in a close by country, wouldn’t you do whatever it took to make a better life for you and
your family? I know I would.

They are here. They do jobs Americans won’t. Give them a path to citizenship instead of arresting and deporting hard-working people who love this country and WANT to work.

enodavid

June 4th, 2011
4:29 pm

How many have died in Mexico from the drug war? http://veritasnm.com/2011/06/johnson-supports-commissions-report-on-drug-war-impact/ Can you blame them fleeing Mexico. In Africa it is called what? But in Mexico it is called send them illegals back so they can get mowed down in machine gun fire. We must also remember we are competing on a global market with farming. So if you don’t have cheap farm labor then guess what we will buy fruits and vegetables from Brazil, Mexico, China wherever the cheapest is. Just like our refineries in America do. They will sell to Europe before America if they are paying more a gallon. And that is why your gas won’t go down. You lesson in international free trade is no over. Your test. Grow your own or don’t complain about $63 tomatoes.

blue dog

June 4th, 2011
4:35 pm

The Republican Party has done a great service to Americans. They have attracted the most self centered, mean spirited, selfish individuals to join their ranks. We no longer have to guess how anyone thinks, we merely ask which party do they belong. The irony of this is that they would be the first to describe themselves as “religious or Christian”. They are hell bent to overturn the Healthcare Bill because they already HAVE insurance. They opposed SS, Medicare, the civil rights amendment in years past, while cutting taxes for their buddies who support them, the top 2% of income earners…claiming it will create jobs. The Bush tax cuts produced no jobs during the last 10 years but that does not stop the morons from continuing to preach this madness. Should they regain total control of this country expect to see the utter collapse of our economy…then, they will use the opportunity to dismantle the government including the social safety nets in place. Labor unions will be outlawed. Pension funds will bankrupt due to lack of state funding…and states will get away with it because the courts will be stocked with “right wing” judges.
For the first time in my life, I truly fear for the future of this country. These self serving morons, collectively called the Republican Party, do not deserve to be called Americans. All of our ancestors came from other countries to America, just like these Hispanics today. What would this country look like if our forefathers took the same position on immigration as these modern day Repubs. I think it would be pretty lonely here.
The GOP= Party first ( me first ), country, and everyone else, second.

Michael

June 4th, 2011
5:00 pm

I was hoping for anarchy in 2009 but the stimulus stopped it. Hopefully the redumbs will win everything in 2012 and I get the anarchy I crave. I’m a lawyer so I always have work when more people suffer.

katz

June 4th, 2011
5:22 pm

citizens will work if ‘free’ subsidies are ended
food stamps? extended unemployment benefits? sure, but if you can’t find a job, we have one for you

Dave

June 4th, 2011
5:34 pm

My family has farmed for generations….crops & chickens……and never had to use illegal
workers. When needed hired help was available with local people.

If they are here illegal they are breaking the laws of our country…..period. Arrest & ship
them back!

Ah ha!

June 4th, 2011
5:44 pm

When I first saw the Cabbage Patch Dolls, I knew nuthin’ good would ever come of it. Now we’ve got cabbage patch families. If you will. (insert eyerolling emoticon here)

Oh no we wont.

eatmotacos

June 4th, 2011
6:05 pm

@No longer Republican

“The reason the migrants are here in the first place is Americans WON’T do the jobs. Now millions of dollars of crops will be rotting in Georgia fields and what good does that do anyone?”

You are dead wrong. Illegal aliens are here to benefit a very small percentage of our population; the physcopaths who controls most of the wealth, and therefore, all of the politicians. We have many examples right here in Georgia. People who would rob their grandmothers.

They have successfully cut their cost of doing business by shifting much of it onto the backs of people who pay taxes, which doesn’t include most of them or the illegal aliens.

The farmers’s, who employ the fewest, get all of the press, because the nonsense about produce rotting in the fields is easy for morons to comprehend, and makes a good story. If the farmers’ business model includes violating the law, then why don’t they just cook meth, rob banks, smuggle drugs, or become pimps, or better yet, get a job. I personally wouldn’t eat a Vidalia onion if I were starving. If they don’t rot in the fields, I hope they rot on the store selves.

I have never, ever seen a story about the elderly people on fixed incomes, who have had their neighborhoods destroyed by hordes of illegal aliens moving 25 people into 2 bedroom houses and parking 12 cars on the lawn. A hell of a lot more native citizens have been negatively impacted by this BS, than the invaders, but they are just considered collateral damage – part of the price you pay for tolerating political corruption.

As for the Europeans invading the Americas – if you knew anything about history, you would know that the Europeans were here first. They came before the land bridge was formed – in fact, they were invaded by the Asians.

As far as all of the danger in Mexico, thats BS also. Mexico City is safer than New Orleans. All of the violence is concentrated along the border. Most of the people coming here live hundreds of miles away from it, and never experience it. Just another lie to feed the gullible uninformed.

A dad

June 4th, 2011
6:06 pm

Folks, I’m a conservative, and yes, my analysis always begins with the word illegal, and I never cease to be amazed in trying to discuss this subject with my more liberal counterparts how that word simply disappears. Breaking up families because one parent gets deported. Good analogy about prison. Where is your concern about what happens when one parent goes to jail because he/she committed a crime? And yes, that brings me back to the word “illegal” again. We have laws in this country, laws which we shouldn’t be able to set aside simply because we disagree with the subject, who they apply to, etc. If that’s your argument, then why shouldn’t I be able to walk up to you and demand your wallet? It’s just a a law after all. Illegal immigration is a victimless crime you argue back? Then you show your ignorance at the social cost of illegal immigration. I agree there should be a simplier solution. And despite the venom to come at my post, it’s not that I’m racist, small minded, etc. Perhaps a revised guest worker program where takes, etc. are taken out of the pay so that illegals are contributing to their social cost. As for school, much harder to discuss. You will never convince me that the 2-3 non-English speaking kids in my girl’s classes as they wre growing up did not take more than their proportionate share of the teacher’s attention, thereby taking from my kids’ education. Education, by the wya, the illegals did not pay for. Folks, it’s illegal, no way around it. Until such time as the laws are changed, that’s just the way it is. And please, no arguments about native Americans, etc. Completely different situation, and hopefully you can see that. We need intelligent discourse on this subject, not race mucking, illogical rants and raves.
Also, anyone else struck by the farming argument they can’t get by without “migrant” workers? Sort of sounds to me like they haven’t moved much past slavery labor….

double

June 4th, 2011
6:07 pm

The word is illegal.I think most are ok with legal immigrants.Yes you can find reason, to not have immigration.Also you can find reason for immigration.The immigrants should help rid the country of illegals regardless of race,color.

SuperGeorge

June 4th, 2011
6:30 pm

Where are the law makers who said this legislation will not affect the crops and the food production?

Those who said there will be no boycott and there will be not lawsuits.
Those who said will be a happy day in GA. What about a happy year?
Those who said that this law was much better than the Arizona law.

I do not know why these law makers can not make now a law that will send those fat Americans citizen who like to eat cakes to the crops to save the fruit and vegetables and “create” jobs for Americans.

Concerned Citizen

June 4th, 2011
6:33 pm

Shaking my head at the near-sighted simplistic righteous rants that include, “What part of illegal don’t you understand?”

Folks, what part of “politics (local, county, state, federal & international), a global economy, NAFTA, a post 9-11 world and a broken immigration system don’t YOU understand?

Or that in the US the punishment is supposed to fit the crime. An immigration violation is usually akin to a parking violation – and some of our righteous citizens don’t understand that; they want to dole out a life sentence.

We NEED comprehensive FEDERAL immigration reform – NOT a state by state approach built for political gain.

enodavid

June 4th, 2011
6:35 pm

What about the suppliers who won’t buy the vegi’s unless it is so low the farmer can’t make any money? Why is it always about the bad farmers? How about those who buy the food wholesale? It is easier to put it on the farmer than the buyers. Who by the way are looking at the global market. If we look at a graph showing the price from the forties of farm price, middleman price, & retailer price; over year, you will see it is the whole-sellers who are making the profit. The farmer is still charging about the same when adjusted. The retailer is about the same. The middleman is making all the money and forcing the farm prices down or they will just buy from another country.

blue dog

June 4th, 2011
6:37 pm

A Dad

Comparing a bank rober to an illegal immigrant is comparing apples to oranges. The robber is an antisocial misfit, who tries to avoid making a living by robbing others. A migrant worker is “earning” his income. He needs to be accepted in our society, where self determination matters. These are the very people that will ADD to Americas strength, not take from it. If you cannot see that distention, then we have no hope in solving the immigration problem.

eatmotacos

June 4th, 2011
6:54 pm

@ blue dog

You don’t know much about migrant workers(illegal aliens). They take everything they can get their hands on. They will steal another person’s identity at the drop of a hat. When they show up at the ER or OB ward for free services, they are arrogant and demanding – want to know why no one is speaking Spanish to them. They are totally unappreciative of what American taxpayers provide for them. They trade what they acquire with their anchor babies’ vouchers to unscrupulous proprietors of Hispanic mercados for products they aren’t allowed to purchase. When they have an auto accident, they flee will always flee the scene, if they can get away with it. They violate many, many more laws than just being undocumented, and think absolutely nothing about it.

deegee

June 4th, 2011
7:17 pm

What do you want to bet that eatmotacos lives next door to some Messicans that park their cars in the front yard and he can’t stand it.

blue dog

June 4th, 2011
7:31 pm

eatmotacos

Take the time to talk to the mayor of Uvalda. Hear what he has experienced with Hispanics. You have met a totally different group of people. Do you work in an emergency room? I can’t believe the majority of these people would EVER DEMAND anything….Especially since they are trying to stay under the radar. Makes no sense.

Travis McGee

June 4th, 2011
7:35 pm

@No Longer Republican : Thanks for your thoughtful post.

We share a long border with an impoverished country. We have jobs that no one in this country is willing to do. And, because of our unwillingness to intelligently address this issue the radical approach has been taken and it will result consequences that rash actions haven’t considered.

There needs to be a rational approach to citizenship for these willing workers. And, it can be a win/win situation. They need jobs for their families. And, we need a young workforce to help balance the demographic imbalace we have. These new workers could help the economy and by paying taxes and contributing to social security — a benefit most of these you workers won’t be needing for decades.

A rational approach is needed, but all we get is a hotheaded approach.

Rob Woodall wants you to keep paying for his healthcare, while you pay for your own healthcare, and help your elderly parents pay their healthcare

June 4th, 2011
8:34 pm

Roll out the hate and pander to the conservatives.

“Back in my day we didn’t have none of those illegal, Mexicans sneaking in and stealing our jobs. Of course I never did any farm work and didn’t know anyone who did and I sure did like them Vidalias on my fat-burger, but I sure didn’t have to stand behind any Mexicans at the Wal Mart so we just need to round them up”

big hat

June 4th, 2011
9:03 pm

…and how about those illegal immigrants? Can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em, can’t shoot ‘em.

Cobb Woman of Color

June 4th, 2011
9:32 pm

As far as the husband supporting his family, his wife is staying at home collecting WIC and welfare for her citizen children while the husband gets paid under the table. They use the emergency room for their health care. He is not completely supporting his family, taxpayers are supporting them.

Cobb Woman of Color

June 4th, 2011
9:36 pm

For all the people who want a path for citizenship for the illegals, do you think they will follow a process for legalization if they didn’t follow our existing process? Just because they think it is cumbersome doesn’t mean it should be changed? And, if it is, it should be because Americans choose to change it, not because someone from a foreign country thinks we should change it.

Brenda

June 4th, 2011
9:44 pm

Local immagration legislation is an indictment of the failure of the feds. We have been waiting for decades for the feds to so something to secure our borders. There will be no discussion of “paths to citizenship” until borders are secure.
I would oppose on principle allowing people here illegally to move to the head of the immigration line. We need an orderly process for immigation. That said, I don’t have a problem with a guest worker program as long as it’s clear that babies born in the US are not citizens while their parents are here on a guest worker program.

deegee

June 4th, 2011
9:52 pm

Cobb Woman of Color thinks that illegal immigrants that haven’t seen their family in 10 years would deny themselves a chance to become legal and travel back to their country of origin to see their aging parents. Cobb Woman of Color is clueless.

Cherokee

June 4th, 2011
9:56 pm

I kind of think I’d rather live next to an illegal immigrant than a cobb woman of color…

SuperGeorge

June 4th, 2011
9:59 pm

How much civilization we got in this 21 century?

Long ago slaves had to pick up the fruit and vegetables.

Today, according with all the “legal advances” CAN NOT BE US CITIZENS………..

vuduchld

June 4th, 2011
10:05 pm

“It’s the heat thing”. Boy, you lazy, deadbeat Jawjians haven’t picked the first berry and you’re already wimping out! You pilgrims from the “real estate fraud” state need jobs desperatley, but you don’t thave the will or guts to pick watermelons in 100 degrees shade for minimum wage. Chip Rogers, D. A. King, where are your sorry behinds now? Get out there and pick them berries boys because your meth infused hillibilly citizens sure won’t!!

Cobb Woman of Color

June 4th, 2011
10:22 pm

Calibound

June 5th, 2011
12:15 am

All you have to do is look at California and all of its trobles to see that the immigrant problem legal or illegal is a real problem. Are we supposed to give someone something for breaking the law and then looking the other way while we do it. NO illegal is illegal, no gray area, no room to say well we could help them, BS they break the law they go home. But no the bleeding heart liberal bunny hugging tree lovers do care about the law no more as long as it suits them. AND for you in the religious or so call Christian right, You bring Gods laws everytime you set out to save another poor illegal, You break Gods Law in effect by breaking the law of the land, in that you aid, care, hide and transport illegals, This makes you a criminal. Now you breaks laws you go to jail and someone should start sticking some of you in jail to see if its all worth.

Illegals are here to get the jobs and send the money home, they dont spend anymore then they have to in your business or places that you work. They spend it within there own communities. Not the kind of neighbor i want that does help his or hers area or city. Or how is in Kroger sending home 3 or 4 thousand dollars every two weeks. That your money leaving this country to support another country. But let someone send aid to a country that they think are terroist.

Be of color, now theirs a load of crap, just say your black and the mexicans dont like you, why hide behind people of color and try to be something your not. You Black, been Black and will always be Black. at least thats what my grandmother told me when i was little. so im not of color i’m black.

Last to have have illegals here taking from thoses that are here legally is in all corners of the world, Not just the US wrong and should not be aloud, But it’s time to let the crybaby’s have there way.

eatmotacos

June 5th, 2011
12:32 am

@ bluedog & dee gee

I live in Dalton, the town with the highest concentration of illegal aliens in Georgia. And yes, dee gee, 25 illegal aliens moved into the house next door, and parked 12 cars in their beer bottle strewn yard. It has happened all over the town and county. I moved – had no other choice, but many people, especially the elderly on fixed incomes, can’t afford to move. Thanks a handful of psychopaths who thought it would be a good idea to recruit a few tens of thousands of third world non-English speaking indigents, they have no choice but to live in a third world ghetto.

For a little insight into the Hispanics in Dalton, Blue dog may want to review the latest edition of this all-American publication:

“The Militant”

A socialist newsweekly published in the interests of working people
Vol. 75/No. 23 June 13, 2011

(lead article)
‘Legalization for all
undocumented now!’
“Georgia law is blow to workers’ solidarity” by Ms Fruit (I didn’t make that up)

“To win this fight we need to take to the streets,” said Arturo Perez, who helped build and organize a May 1 rally here demanding that the governor not sign the bill. The Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights has announced protests for July 1.

Supporters of “The Militant” visited Dalton, a city in the northwest part of the state, May 28 to talk with workers about how the capitalist crisis and attacks on workers’ rights are affecting their lives.

Dalton, known as the “Carpet Capital of the World,” is a city of about 30,000 with more than 150 carpet plants. More than 90 percent of the functional carpet produced in the world today is made within a 65-mile radius of the city. Half the population is Hispanic.

Workers from Dalton were among the largest groups participating in the May 1 rally…..”

“themilitant.com”

It would seem that Republicans and Socialists would make strange bedfellows, but Georgia’s Republicans will apparently do anything to make a buck. I can’t wait until they unionize the rug mills, and present them with their list of demands……

Rabbit

June 5th, 2011
12:33 am

Illegal? Guess again, pringlegobbler. Under the US code, there is no criminal statute for being in the US after entering “without inspection”. While a person who enters the country without inspection has violated a statute, there is no criminal penalty. That person would become “deportable” upon the commission of other acts specifically set forth in the USCode.
We’ve been fed a lot of hate garbage and misinformation about “illegal”. It is improper for a person to enter the country without inspection but not illegal in the criminal sense most are led to believe.
It could get interesting with the misguided state law coloring with the actual federal law. What’ll y’all think when the state officer who delivers captives to ICE and are turned away with the warning that, since they’ve crossed state lines with people they haven authority to detain, they should consult their own attorney about the defense of a federal violation: kidnapping.

Tom E. Gunn

June 5th, 2011
12:35 am

Blue Dog, We FINALLY agree on something! As long as there are people who refuse to see these people have INVADED our state and country ILLEGALLY, then this issued can’t be resolved. I say again, forgoet the migrant workers, come up here to NORTH GA an see what they have done to our towns, our health service, the taxes we pay for building new schools to teach them, and the list goes on. I will close with this story, a person I know in Dalton was recently rushed for emergency surgery. She is a single mother working at minimum wage. She asked the hospital if she qualified for any assistance with the bill. They told her those funds were reserved for illegal immigrants.
REPEL THE INVASION!

eatmotacos

June 5th, 2011
1:01 am

@ wabbit

“We’ve been fed a lot of hate garbage and misinformation about “illegal”.

If they work, they drive without a driver’s license, or insurance. They present forged documents to their employers. They apply for and receive benefits that they are not entitled to, including substaintial tax returns in the form of earned income tax credits. The list goes on and on. YOU are the one spewing garbage. Your references to the law aren’t worth a comment.

jaypat

June 5th, 2011
1:07 am

There’s one school of thought about labor that holds that slavery was a very inefficient method of utilizing labor. The owner had to use his slaves in such a way as to maximize their utility, which meant that he had to keep them healthy in order to do so. He also had to house and feed them.

The howlers are screaming that they can’t find help. Try paying an attractive wage, if human help is all you can use. If you can’t make enough money by paying a fair wage to an American or a legal immigrant, then maybe you are in the wrong business.

This drabble about “Americans don’t want to work” is a bunch of malarkey. Americans want to be compensated fairly for what they have invested in the United States, and yes!, Americans come first. They refuse to work for the peonage wages that are paid to so-called “migrants”. They can’t live on it, and neither can any other American. I dare and defy any of you so-called “liberals” to try it for yourself, ans see what you are advocating for your fellow Americans.

I am especially infuriated by the claim that I have personally heard from people I knew to be here illegaly that “Americans are lazy.” When I inquired further of the person I discovered that it was something that was pervasive along the border regions of the US and penetrating down into Central America. I wonder who might be responsible for this type of propaganda–could it be the “cayotes” who have an interest in ferrying people here for a profit, or the agricultural interests who want an abundant supply of cheap labor?

It is a shame that some states have had to move on this issue ahead of the federal government, but that’s the way it works sometimes. We have been through this once already back in the Reagan era, and whatever we tried back then didn’t work. (In fact, most of what we tried back then didn’t work as advertised either.)

majii

June 5th, 2011
2:33 am

Scream all you want, but when President Bush tried to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill in 2007, republicans in Congress ran away from him as fast as they could and so did the republicans in the country. I researched this and found that President Bush’s approval rating dropped to @ 30% after he tried to reform immigration. I have no sympathy for those who continue to whine about our immigration system, and then, when someone offers a proposal, they attack it. It seems to me that many of the chronic whiners don’t really want immigration reform because they get so much pleasure from complaining about the problem instead of working to solve it. President Obama is currently working on a comprehensive immigration bill, and my prediction is that he will be attacked the same way that President Bush was attacked so that the whiners can have the satisfaction of having a reason to keep saying the issue isn’t resolved or isn’t being addressed, or maybe it’ll be the old standby “the borders haven’t been secured” or “build the danged fence” when research has shown that this is not feasible. The same people calling for billions to be spent on building a fence on the border are the SAME ones complaining about government spending too much money! The American government has spent millions on fences and border defenses that have been shown to not work. The border is more secure at this time than it has ever been. Look it up. PolitiFact checked it when President Obama mentioned it in his speech when he was in TX last month. I’m sick of the childishness, and the inability/unwillingness to face/tell the truth that I see rampant in this country at this time. Either help to solve the problem or keep your mouth closed. You can’t have it both ways. Adults realize this. Only immature individuals refuse to work on a solution to a problem and/or refuse to compromise when a solution is offered.

The Centrist

June 5th, 2011
6:46 am

According to the Secure Fence Act supporters, all we had to do was build a regular fence (that was completed in 2010), and the problem with illegal immigrants would be immediately and totally eliminated.

dcb

June 5th, 2011
6:53 am

To those who use the “what happens to the families of the illegals who are sent packing” , I think Morris’ analogy in the article above says it all – ” When a man robs a bank and is caught, Morris said, he puts his family at risk. “You’re splitting up a family. A child is going to be hurt,” he said. The responsibility, Morris said, lies with the illegal resident.

As long as we continue to have the entitlement society we now have, the concern that there will not be enough legal workers available to handle the crops is probably true. So why not solve that problem first. Reduce the give-aways and force those who are healthy but live a relatively good life on food stamps, welfare checks, free meals at school for their children, and health benefits galore to go to work – menial jobs or not. Supplement their pay if necessary to allow them to feed their families if what the pay is for working the crops won’t do it. But forget the handouts – and forget using as an excuse that only encourages illegal immigrants to proliferate our society, there aren’t enough Americans to do the job.

Sam I Am

June 5th, 2011
7:03 am

You all going to feel the same when 15 million Muslems walk across the border?

jconservative

June 5th, 2011
7:37 am

“…the farmers come to their senses and decide to start doing right by the American people and use LEGAL U.S. Citizens to pick the [darned] crops!”

If you show up tomorrow at any large farm with crops to be picked you will be hired immediately. No one is stopping you but you.

You know when that bleeding heart liberal Reagan was President we granted all the illegals amnesty and removed the problem for over a decade.

Appears it is now time for the Reagan solution once more.

Can I get three cheers for Reagan?

Tom E. Gunn

June 5th, 2011
7:55 am

Dang, I’m confused? Not illegal, but they want amnesty? The farm worker issue is a ploy, a diversion. The REAL problem is in the NORTHERN portion of the state. The media and the leaders of the ILLEGALS (yes they are) think that higher food prices and shortages will scare us into the dream act or at least the staus quo. NOT GOING TO WORK!
As for the borders? Land mines and sharp shooters will fix the problem.

jconservative

June 5th, 2011
8:00 am

Ran across these numbers and found them interesting.

US deportations of immigrants
2004 174,000
2007 288,000
2008 369,000
2009 388,000
2010 393,000

393,000 a year, the latest figure, is not a lot of deportations when compared to the number of illegals here. But it is more than the previous years. At 393,000 a year it will take 27 years to get 11,000,000 illegals deported. And 393,000 deportations is probably a net decrease of zero.

Anyone have any idea on the costs involved in deported 393,000 illegals?

Frederick Douglass

June 5th, 2011
8:09 am

Look, the Great wall of China is 5,500 miles long. You mean we can’t construct one that’ll only be 1,969 miles long, and use the very people trying to come over here illegally to build it? We could make that sucker about 250 ft. high with razor wire on top, and employ unmanned drones to keep a bird’s eye view on the whole operation. There, simplistic enough to please Republicans, and humane enough for Democrats.

Jeb

June 5th, 2011
8:22 am

If we lose the illegals, there will be at least more job available for the uneducated hillbillies to drive their beat up trucks to.

Exador

June 5th, 2011
8:24 am

New immigrants have always been a burden on society. They are typically handicapped by poor resources, job skills, language. That’s why governments have to limit the number of immigrants that are allowed into the country per year, so that the country/society can handle absorbing them. That’s why this massive wave of illegals must be stopped.

eatmotacos

June 5th, 2011
8:45 am

It is past time for people of Georgia to wake up to the fact that you are being robbed of your assets, and the people that you elected to represent you are instead representing the robbers. There is no shortage of Americans to work on the farms in South Georgia. It is all LIES. Dan Rather,(somewhere to the left of Karl Marx) came to South Georgia and did a report on the subject. It is one of many reports. What follows is from Rather’s report:

AFTER WE RAN A RECENT REPORT ABOUT A GUEST WORKER PROGRAM
FOR HOTELS AND RESTAURANTS, WE HEARD ABOUT A LAWYER IN SOUTH
GEORGIA WHO SAID THE IDEA THAT AMERICANS WON’T DO FARM WORK
IS A MYTH. HE SAID HE KNEW OF HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE DESPERATE FOR
JOBS PICKING CROPS, BUT HE SAID, THE FARMS DIDN’T WANT THEM. AND
IF WE DIDN’T BELIEVE HIM, WE COULD COME DOWN AND SEE FOR
OURSELVES

THESE DAYS, MANY PEOPLE IN THE FARMING BUSINESS, LIKE THESE
FOLKS AT J & R BAKER FARMS, SAY IT’S NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND
WORKERS FROM AROUND HERE WHO WANT TO PICK CROPS.

BUT WHEN WE WENT TO THE COUNTY SEAT OF MOULTRIE, THAT’S NOT
WHAT WE FOUND. IT SEEMS THERE ARE PLENTY OF LOCALS — LITERALLY
HUNDREDS — VYING FOR THE CHANCE TO DO THOSE FARM PICKING JOBS
THAT AMERICANS SUPPOSEDLY WON’T DO.

SO WHEN J& R BAKER FARMS POSTED AN AD LOOKING FOR 80
TEMPORARY FARM WORKERS – THEY GOT OVER 300 APPLICANTS. THESE
WERE MEN AND WOMEN WHO TOLD US THAT THEY WERE DESPERATE FOR
A DAY’S WORK, BUT NOW BELIEVE THEY NEVER STOOD A CHANCE.

BUT THEY AREN’T ALONE. THERE’S ANOTHER GROUP OF WORKERS WHO
ARE ALSO VERY EAGER TO GO TO THE FIELDS TO EARN MONEY.

MORNING AFTER MORNING, THE LOCALS HAVE STOOD BY AND WATCHED… AS A
FOREIGN WORKFORCE WAS BUSSED TO THE FIELDS FOR A FULL DAYS
WORK WHILE THE AMERICANS WERE LEFT BEHIND

eatmotacos

June 5th, 2011
8:48 am

The link to Rather’s report. Add www.

hd.net/ui/inc/show_transcripts.php?ami=A6680&t=Dan…en…

Rick in Grayson

June 5th, 2011
8:53 am

The farmers shouldn’t be complaining about the lack of workers. They should be raising the wages until they can get legal workers to bring in the crop. Why should workers receive such low wages for temporary work. They should receive a premium. The farmers will have to charge more for their crops and the middlemen will have to accept less.

If that does not work, then the farmers need to move their business to another country with a lower standard of living (and less infrastructure to get their goods to market).

We the taxpayers have created this infrastructure and the farmers want us to subsidize the “cheap” wages they pay illegals. Some already get farm subsidies and local taxpayers foot the bill for food stamps, WIC, law enforcement, K-12 educations, medical care, and other benefits that illegal aliens access via their US born children or document/identify fraud.