immigration laws pummeling ag economy

Anyone still convinced the government knows what it’s doing on immigration law should read this article from today’s New York Times. It’s a classic example of how politics and reality diverge as well as the ineptitude of the administrative apparatus implementing policy. Here’s a snippet:

Now harvest time has passed and tons of pears have ripened to mush on their branches, while the ground of Mr. Ivicevich’s orchard reeks with rotting fruit. He and other growers in Lake County, about 90 miles north of San Francisco, could not find enough pickers.


For decades, Mr. Ivicevich said, migrant pickers would knock on his door asking for work climbing his picking ladders. Then about five years ago they stopped knocking, and he turned to a labor contractor to muster harvest crews. This year, elated, he called the contractor in early August. Pears must be picked green and quickly packed and chilled, or they go soft in shipping. “Then I called and I called and I called,” Mr. Ivicevich said. The picking crew, which he needed on Aug. 12, arrived two weeks late and 15 workers short. He lost about 1.8 million pounds of pears.

Reason magazine has an excellent series of articles on the immigration debate in its September/August 2006 issue.