Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Here’s a Snapshot of the Life of a Farm Worker in California – Don’t We Want People Who Work Like This in This Country?

Native Born Americans – Here’s Your Job if You Want One 

A reporter for the Los Angeles Times, Hecter Becerra, has written a story about his experiences of trying to work in a strawberry field in California for a day. 

Los Angeles Times writer Hector Becerra picks boxes of strawberries alongside workers in a Santa Maria, Calif., strawberry field.

  He also writes about his co-workers, including this woman.  No, not the lazy, shiftless picture of an immigrant you hear about on right wing news.

Then, when I began to fall comically behind, the strawberry fairy would leave another bundle for me. Porfiria Garcia, a 45-year-old Oaxacan immigrant, sidled up, offering encouragement.

She tried working in a restaurant once, she told me, but she felt cooped up. She liked working in the open air, though it was hard work. She worked six days a week, often 10 hours a day, and her Sundays were often spent cooking for her family, doing laundry and preparing for the week of work ahead.

Of course Ms. Garcia has her job not because she is taking one away from a native American, but because she is willing to do the work.  The motivation is explained here.

Many of the workers said they not only took pride in the work, but enjoyed it in their own way. But others said they worked so hard and for so long for one reason:

"I have to — not because I want to, but because of necessity. I had to pay the coyote who brought me here. I had to pay rent, for food," said Domingo Suarez, a soft-spoken 25-year-old who had herded goats and cattle in Oaxaca and was the father of a 1-year-old American girl.

"I have to take care of my family. I have to send money to my parents in Mexico."

Compare Ms. Garcia with, say, Ann Coulter.  Ms. Coulter is a rather mean and vicious person who makes a very good living going on Fox TV and saying mean and vicious things.  But given the choice most Americans would trade Ms. Coulter and her like for Ms. Garcia and her co-workers any day.  They seem to have true American values, even if they were not born in this country.

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