The push to give open amnesty to illegal aliens has reached a new level of absurdity with this New York Times article about the plight of one poor American farmer:
A federal audit had found that 12 of his 14 workers were immigrants who had provided [Jeff] True with false work documents, the letter said. The immigration authorities ordered him to dismiss those workers.
Mr. True, whose family has been dairy farming for two centuries, scrambled around the clock with his relatives to milk their 1,100 cows, hire and train new workers and keep the farm in business.
Most of his workers are immigrants from Latin America, and he now dreads that he could receive another letter at any moment.
“My biggest fear is my labor is not going to be here tomorrow,” he said. “Most of us live in fear of that every day.”
What a tearjerker! This American farmer is going to go under if he is not allowed to hire illegals to work his farm. Tragedy! Pathos! Whoa, wait a minute.
1,100 cows! That's not a farm, that's a factory. So we're supposed to get all swollen-eyed over a CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation) "farmer" who is hiring the cheapest labor he can find at depressed wages so he can cut even more corners on his operation? Imagine how he's treating the cows you all drink your milk from?
Let's take a look at how this factory man operates his "farm":
They milk in a double-10 parallel parlor and cows lie on sand-bedded free stalls with bedding added twice each week. Farm 2 has rubber belting in the entire feed alley and pushes up feed 12 times per day. Donna Walker, nominator from Dairylea Cooperative, says, "True Farms does an exceptional job balancing the production of high-quality milk. They thoughtfully create protocols and follow them for consistent results."
Rubber belting for the entire feed alley! Isn't that wonderful? Kind of demolishes the quaint notion of happy cows munching grass on a sunny day, huh? Farmers don't "create protocols," they raise animals for food and milk. If you want to read more about what people like Mr. True and the folks at the Dairylea Cooperative, Inc. are doing to the quality of life in their Upstate New York communities, check this out:
Karen Strecker is bracing. She's about to turn on the faucet, and there's a chance liquid manure is going to stream from the spout. "I've been taking a bath and actually had cow shit pour into the tub,'' Strecker says, matter-of-factly. She uses well water. "It's nasty." Yet the threat of a sewage bath pales in comparison to a more dangerous problem: Breathing poisonous fumes. After years living next to Willet Dairy, the largest industrial farm in the state, Strecker and her neighbors in Genoa are reporting the kinds of health problems eco-watchdogs lose sleep over, from blistering eyelids to brain damage. Manure is known to release gases that, in high concentrations, are linked to those scary symptoms.
But, then again, did you really expect this man to be practicing rotational grazing for his 1,100 assets, er, living animals, moving them from one parcel of pasture to another to ensure maximum nutritional health?
This is the flip side to the "jobs ordinary Americans won't do" argument: This kind of "farm labor" is demeaning and quite dangerous to the workers involved. Demeaning for obvious reasons (lagoons of manure) and dangerous because cows are meant to graze on pasture, not "feed alleys." This kind of operation guarantees sickness:
Working conditions at confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are unhealthy, dangerous and extreme. Because the animals are often housed directly above the giant pits that store their manure, harmful gases such as hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, carbon dioxide, and methane that are produced by the decomposing manure can contaminate the air that the animals and farm laborers breathe. In addition to these gases, dust and other irritants known as endotoxins—which come from the cell walls of the bacteria in the manure—are often found in very high concentrations on CAFOs. These substances can be hazardous to farm workers either through chronic (or long-term) exposure at low levels, or acute (concentrated) exposure at higher levels.
This man is hiring desperate people who are in this country illegally to perform dangerous and dreary labor instead of running a smaller operation that would give American citizens an opportunity to perform meaningful work. He is also providing you his fellow citizen with an unhealthy product, as a sick animal is not going to provide healthy milk. And he is doing all of this for the sake of increased profit for himself.
But you have to love the insinuation in the Times' article that a rich, two-centuries-old tradition is facing cruel extinction if this SOB isn't allowed his exploitative labor.
Amazing times we are living in.