Gail Harper Chandler: Immigrants work hard

November 11, 2013 

In a Nov. 8 letter to the editor “Picking jobs,” the writer asks the same question that many others are asking: “Wouldn’t it make sense to hire our unemployed citizens before allowing Hispanics or others on work visas to take our jobs?”

This question brought to mind the Take Our Jobs campaign that was started by United Farm Workers in 2010. During the campaign, UFW invited legal residents to apply for jobs on farms across the country. In the first two months of the campaign, only seven people had taken it up on the offer to take a job in agriculture. The immigration debate is much more complicated than it is often represented by politicians and the public.

When I visit my cousin’s Lenoir County farm, all I see are men who are doing a job that most “citizens” would not be willing to do. Their work ethic is unlike anything I have ever witnessed. The work is dirty, grueling and sometimes dangerous. Any debate on immigration reform should also ensure the safety and welfare of anyone who works to put food on our table.

Gail Harper Chandler

Clayton

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