Selma Farmers In Favor Of Immigration Reform

Last Monday, Caroline and Jamey Hines, the owners of Hines Family Farms near Selma, showcased their farm facility and spoke out in favor of immigration reform they claim will make their workforce stable, predictable, and reliable.  Hines Family Farms grows sweet potatoes and is currently reliant on workers secured by the federal H2A program to do the farm work.

“Having H2A workers is everything to us,” said Caroline Hines, a fourth generation farmer.  “Our competitive advantage is quality, and having reliable workers creates a better product than using machinery.  We need an immigration system that is fairer and more streamlined.”

Hines also remarked, “Labor will be the number one issue for my farming generation.  It’s become so political,” she continued.  “I appreciate all that Congressman David Rouzer has done to take the lead on the issue.  Now is the best time to pass an immigration bill that guarantees that the workers we need can legally work here.”

Spearheaded by New American Economy (NAE), the farm event helped mark the launch of Map the Impact—a campaign to highlight the power of immigrants in communities across the country.

In North Carolina, Map the Impact shows that in Rouzer’s 7th Congressional District:

  • There are 46,740 foreign-born residents who make up 6.2% percent of the area’s population.
  • Immigrants paid $221.3M in state and local taxes and held $690.3M in spending power in 2014.
  • Immigrants are 64.83 percent more likely to be entrepreneurs than the native population, and there are 1,757 immigrant entrepreneurs in this District.
  • Immigrants own 9,853 homes and help to build the area’s housing wealth.
  • Immigrants make up 32 percent of the Agriculture industry, 21.2 percent of the Construction industry, and 14.3 percent of the Manufacturing industry, and more.

37 COMMENTS

  1. Noticed the numbers below were not provided by Map The IMPACT – the child rape number in North Carolina by immigrants.

    per Ann Coulter’s article “Immigrant Privilege” Drives Child Rape
    According to North Carolinians for Immigration Reform and Enforcement (www.ncfire.info) , immigrants commit hundreds of sex crimes against children in North Carolina every month — 350 in the month of April 2014, 299 in May, and more than 400 in August and September. More than 90 percent of the perpetrators are Hispanic.

    They also conveniently forgot to mention the number of immigrants in PRISON!!!

    • The article also did not disclose that all of the immigrants working on this farm come legally with the H2A program. I am not familiar with a single incident when one of these legal workers has ever committed a crime or given anyone any problems. These men are simply following the laws of Mexico and the US to come, work for 4 or 5 months and return home. If not for this H2A program, which is a legal way for farmers to get workers, the farmers in our area and many other areas of our great nation would have to quit growing labor intense crops. In that event, fruits, vegetables and a lot of other products that you have come to expect to be available in abundance, will be scarce and very expensive. I don’t think any citizen of the US wants illegal immigration and certainly don’t want the crime and economic drain on our economy that they can produce, but there simply are not enough US citizens to provide the hard work to produce and pick what you eat. The program that the Hines family is involved in is a legal, clean cut alternative to the problems. I commend them for their involvement in this program because I know that it is very expensive for them.

      • The Muslims that bombed the World Trade Centers on 9/11 were here on student visas. They stayed after the visas expired because there is not a system in place to prevent this from happening with ANY visas.

        With North Carolina unemployment so high I don’t see how you can say there is a shortage of workers. There is not a shortage of handouts at taxpayer expense so people choose to not work but not a shortage of workers that are American.

        The illegals are living here and obama told them to vote. If Americans are against illegals then why are approx 70 million in our country? Because our government is for illegals.

        Immigrants and illegals are just democrat voter base and both the visa program and permitting illegals to reside here are to the same end. Fewer jobs whether it’s farm labor or tech jobs.

        America has big problems and the GOP failed leadership acting conservative and voting liberal is one of those problems

        • I couldn’t agree with you more! I am a conservative and vote conservative. I know that there are enough people here to do the work but just no incentive. I agree that if we cut welfare and food stamps that there would be more people to work the fields and factories. What I am saying is that the farmers of NC cannot change that, they still have to get their work done. The people like the Hines are not contributing to the hiring of wildcat illegal Mexicans that crossed the border illegally, they are following the laws to get legal workers to harvest their crops. The people that come here with the H2A program have to go back home, the government makes sure that each one is accounted for. I don’t have answers to the problems but I will say that punishing the NC farmer is not the way to start the conversation, especially those that are only hiring legal workers.

          • Interesting, first you agree with me then you say I am wanting to punish the HInes family. Typical political strategy to detract from the issues at hand.

            Putting a lovely spin on a nasty issue does not change anything. Trying to make us feel sorry for poor local farmers that have to use immigrants or otherwise our produce will cost more. Fixing that small issue by promoting H2A or B visas is a CRIME against AMERICANS and AMERICAN WORKERS.

            You want to talk about voting conservative? I can do that. Let’s all check NC reps on Conservative Review – they have a scorecard complete with bills they all voted on and a wonderfully easy to understand explanation of the bills that anyone can understand. Let’s talk about that. Our NC reps voting records – wonder who has an F on that.

          • Ellie you have gotten so far off of the subject that I can’t even tell what you’re talking about. I told you that I vote conservative, straight R ticket. You just really don’t have any rebuttal to my post. I’m sure that the Hines family would give you a job suckering tobacco anytime that you would like. By the way, they have to pay 11.27 an hour this year plus provide transportation to and from Mexico. You’re already here, I’m assuming you could get more.

          • HOw condescending! Like Americans are too stupid or lazy to have a vegetable garden
            I don’t think I even have to reply to that, I think just be me copying and pasting that you can see how ignorant it sounds.
            Ella Mae, it seems to me that you have had some kind of trama in your life that is causing you some problems. I told you that I agree with you, I am a conservative along with you. You really need to do more research on what you say, how many people live out of their gardens? We have a tremendous problem in the US with a lot of things but H2A workers coming here legally to harvest tobacco and potatoes is not one of them. I hope that I have made a difference in the way that you think, but I doubt it, lets just support our GOP and see what happens. I can see that you have been blind sided by all of the hoop la. I understand that.

  2. Also have not seen any numbers on how many hispanics drive drunk and kill Americans. I know one personally. So would that matter if they are visa endowed or not?

  3. “In that event, fruits, vegetables and a lot of other products that you have come to expect to be available in abundance, will be scarce and very expensive.

    HOw condescending! Like Americans are too stupid or lazy to have a vegetable garden. Who do think you are talking to? Idiots?

    • U are. Why u think fast food is soo popular. ? Who the heck does vegetable gardens hahaha. U need Jesus in ur life. Go to church. ??

  4. Because a law is continually assaulted is not justification for its reform. Self-serving interests that place themselves before the exclusion of all else are….selfish. Hine’s farm has selfish motivations.
    I challenge the statistics sighted…. and claim they are prejudicial in favoring immigrants.

  5. the h-2a and H2-b visas cover about 15 industries, not just farm labor.

    Of those industries 14 have decreased in wages between 2005 and 2014 and INCREASED in unemployment. That tells us that the program is failing.

    The intent of H-2B is to offer jobs to Amercians then if none are available then supplant labor with H-2B workers.

    H-2b visa holders can stay here from 9 months to 3 years
    Job sectors affected Restaurant, hotel, farm labor, landscaping, coaches and scouts, food packagers, bartenders, meat cutters and trimmer, maids, amusement and recreation attendants.

    H-2B visa holders account for over 130,000 jobs in the US

    H-2B visa holders pay Social Security Taxes and are eligible to draw social security.

  6. almost 1 million jobs lost to h-1b visa holders

    of that 140,000 can become citizens after being here for one year. With a job growth in that market of about 300,000 jobs the foreign workers take 1/2 the new jobs each year away from college graduates.

    • We are not talking about H2B we are referring to H2A for agriculture. You are comparing apples to oranges, h2a do not pay social security and can’t collect. They also have to return home every year.

  7. Those same workers’ families are almost entirely on taxpayer support. Their low wages can’t possibly cover what they’re costing us. How about stopping assistance to those at home who are American, and then urging them to come out and work on farms for a living like most of the older generation, who are well established here now, had to way back when. This society needs to re-learn that a living is earned, not entitled. If you’re going to boast figures, boast them all. That’s what North Carolinians and every other American should expect from media. We’re fed up with news outlets curtailing facts to promote bogus economic and socially damaging ideals! Apparently, farmers today are giving in rather than standing on their principles. This has been a long time coming, but that conversation needs to happen now! It’s sad to see that JOCO’s on news source is beginning to turn in to the likes of WRAL, AP, and the NY Times! LOL sickening!

    • Jesus. I just come to JOCO news to know the gossip off joco. I didn’t know it’s like WRAL. ? Fake news. This is dangerous. Hard times I guess.

      • I guess I hit a little hard on the Report. It’s a better option in almost all cases to those afore mentioned “news media outlets”, as they call themselves. I just don’t want us to lose sight of the very conservative principles that define us by giving in a little as we go. Everytime we do, we give up that much more ground to progressivism. So far, it’s not been good to mankind. I wonder if anybody out there cares anymore.

    • This is nothing more than an alternate form of “slave labor” paying ” slave wages” so it would stand to reason why democrats would advocate for it! Thier “well to do” constituents get thier cheap labor and in turn they get thier votes!

  8. This is the issue we are being primed for.

    “Seeking to move the H-2A program from the Department of Labor to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Republicans Elise Stefanik and Chris Collins of New York have introduced the Family Farm Relief Act of 2017.”

    This will make it easier for farmers to get foreign workers by ending requirements on advertising and prevailing practice surveys.

    What the farm workers don’t like about this new bill https://www.farmworkerjustice.org/sites/default/files/FactSheetHR281-Jan2017.pdf

  9. An Atlantic Monthly article that shows that most economists’ thinking that an increased influx of immigrants provides more jobs for Americans is FALSE and does harm jobs for US workers and the economy:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/01/does-immigration-harm-working-americans/384060/

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=990DEFDC1430F934A15750C0A9609C8B63

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2006/03/27/notes-on-immigration/
    The Conscience Of A Liberal–Paul Krugman

    “First, the benefits of immigration to the population already here are small.”
    ” But as Mr. Hanson explains in his paper, reasonable calculations suggest that we’re talking about very small numbers, perhaps as little as 0.1 percent of GDP.

    “My second negative point is that immigration reduces the wages of domestic workers who compete with immigrants. That’s just supply and demand…

    “Finally, the fiscal burden of low-wage immigrants is also pretty clear. ”

    Also, it is patently untrue that “immigrants” are the solution to low rate of start-ups:

    http://smallbiztrends.com/2015/01/immigration-reform-declining-start-rate.html

  10. The U.S. currently has eleven non immigrant guest worker visa programs.
    http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/employment/temporary.html

    There is no cap on the number of workers allowed into the U.S. under the H-2A temporary agricultural guest worker visa program.

    http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/263529-funding-deal-hits-backlash-over-increase-in-worker-visas
    “The provision could more than triple the number of H-2B visas for foreign workers seeking jobs at hotels, theme parks, ski resorts, golf courses, landscaping businesses, restaurants and bars. The move is intended to boost the supply of non-agricultural seasonal workers.”

    http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Resources/Resources%20for%20Congress/Congressional%20Reports/2011%20National%20Immigration%20%26%20Consular%20Conference%20Presentations/H-2A_and_H-2B_Visas.pdf

    Alabama had to bite the bullet and hire LEGAL Immigrants for its AG Industry:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2012-09-24/africans-relocate-to-alabama-to-fill-jobs-after-immigration-law
    Africans Relocate to Alabama to Fill Jobs After Immigration Law

    “East Coast began calling Atlanta refugee agencies several months ago looking for legal immigrants to come to Alabama for a year, said Mbanfu, refugee employment director for Lutheran Services in Atlanta. He said the company would have taken as many refugees as he could refer. The agency connected East Coast with refugees who had been in the country three to five years, he said.”

    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/workplace/2009-09-13-plants_N.htm
    Immigration raids yield jobs for legal workers

    ‘When federal agents descended on six meatpacking plants owned by Swift & Co. in December 2006, they rounded up nearly 1,300 suspected illegal immigrants that made up about 10% of the labor force at the plants.

    But the raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents did not cripple the company or the plants. In fact, they were back up and running at full staff within months by replacing those removed with a significant number of native-born Americans, according to a report by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS).

    “Whenever there’s an immigration raid, you find white, black and legal immigrant labor lining up to do those jobs that Americans will supposedly not do,” said Swain, who teaches law and political science.”

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