Are YOU Ready to Pick Tomatoes?

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As the illegal immigration issue continues to heat up, my economist side keeps on lingering in my thoughts. Many illegal immigrant workers are employed by farms in states close the Mexican border. These workers are usually underpaid, their salaries are somewhere in the neighborhood of $60 per day.  Competition from Latin American crop producers is also an issue; tariffs do not seem to stop foreign products from making it into the US market.

Although I am not in favor of illegal immigration, our economy needs the human resources provided by illegal immigrants. A massive deportation is not the answer to the current economical downturn. As the unemployment keeps on rising, more and more attention is being paid to illegal workers. We did not pay much attention to illegal immigrants during the “dot-com” era, but since jobs are now scarce, it is only natural to put our eyes on illegal workers.

Now the question is: are we Americans willing to take their jobs for the same pay?  There may be a small group that may be willing to do so, but I do not think this small group will fulfill the demand for farm workers. Higher salaries would be required in order to draw Americans to the farming fields and hence crop prices would soar. If prices soar, competition from outside the US would have an advantage over our produce and the demand for US grown products would fall. Under this scenario we would lose jobs to foreign competition.

It is true that not all immigrants are hard workers but, farm workers have demonstrated over and over how valuable they are to our economy. We cannot punish these people for the wrongdoings of others. We need to put an immigrant farm worker program in place in order to keep our crop prices low and in order to compete with foreign grown produce.

I am sure many will not agree with me but I am personally not willing to pay more for produce. Are you?

I Am Proud of my Flag, Are You?

Talking about patriotism is indeed a controversial topic especially when in a country composed of different cultures. Long gone are the days when conquerors set foot into new territories and claimed the new land while planting their flag.

Although the US is a multi-cultural country, before we display flags from our countries of origin, we need to follow certain rules and guidelines as a way of paying respect to our new nation. Every country has a set of flag codes and if we intend to live there we must follow these codes.

We are all proud of our own flags, but exhibiting it in the face of Americans is a sign of lack of respect.  We send the wrong message, we come to someone else’s land and we expect them to accept us with open arms under the conditions that they will also accept our customs. How can we be welcome when the message coming across is “I love my country and I can care less about yours?”

I must say that a lot of times we do not intend to offend anyone; we make mistakes because we follow our traditions or maybe out of pure ignorance. Take as an example a Mexican flag displayed above a US Flag at a restaurant in Reno, Nevada (Photo Source KRNV News 4) .  We should start by getting familiar with the US Flag Code.

Some of the items found in the Flag Code include:

  • When flags of two or more nations are displayed, they are to be flown from separate staffs of the same height. The flags should be of approximately equal size. International usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace.
  • The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.
  • The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.

The complete Flag code 4 USC CHAPTER 1 can be found at the US Code website.

Are we immigrants doing wrong by bringing our customs with us? Is America over reacting?