American Renaissance

US Farmers Short on Migrant Workers Move to Mexico

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Down Mexico Way (Aug. 1998)
God, Glory and Gold (Sep. 2001)
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More news stories on Mexico and Latin America
Mica Rosenberg, Reuters, February 12, 2008

MEXICALI, Mexico, Feb 12 (Reuters) — Like other California vegetable growers, Larry Cox oversees hundreds of Mexican farm workers picking green onions, asparagus and cauliflower in the fertile Colorado River valley.


Instead, Cox’s farm is just south of the border in Mexico where he can hire workers at a tenth of the cost.

Americans are farming some 50,000 acres (20,000 hectares) of land in Mexico and employing 11,000 people, in spite of high crime, suspicion of outsiders and doubts back home about Mexican food safety standards.

The Bush administration’s clampdown on undocumented workers and tighter border security means the flow of Mexican workers to California is drying up, Cox said.


California’s San Joaquin Valley, a rich agricultural region, usually employs around 230,000 seasonal laborers but deportation sweeps have left farmers short by almost a third, said Manuel Cunha from the area’s Nisei Farmers League.

U.S. workers do not want strenuous farm jobs, said Cunha.

As well as tapping into an abundant source of cheap labor in Mexico, U.S. growers can avoid expensive environmental regulations demanded by states like California.

“We are basically being regulated out of business,” said farmer Steve Scaroni, who moved 20 percent of his operations to Mexico’s central state of Guanajuato in 2006.

Cox said he needed costly air quality permits to burn his asparagus fields in Brawley but in Mexico few eyebrows are raised when he sets fire to his fields to clean them.

“In Mexico they said, ‘Permits? What? You just throw a match,’” he said.

Most workers on Cox’s Mexicali farm earn around $10 a day instead of the $10 an hour they could earn doing the same job north of the border. But most say they prefer being near home.



Mexico, which lost huge swathes of its northern territory in a 1846-48 war with the United States, is sensitive about foreigners buying land so most American farmers just rent.


Vegetables and machinery have been stolen from his fields and a nearby U.S. grower was kidnapped and held for ransom, but much of the hostility against U.S. farmers has dampened.


Farmers in the United States, some worried about unfair competition, question Mexican food safety standards. A deadly 2003 hepatitis A outbreak in Pennsylvania was traced back to green onions shipped from Mexico.


Original article

(Posted on February 14, 2008)

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Let’s see if the farmers who moved to Mexico can still get their handsome “farm subsidies” the federal government hands out like
trailers in New Orleans.

Posted by Tim at 5:38 PM on February 14

This is great news.
More agricultural jobs in Mexico means fewer Mexicans in the US.

They also get to see what life would be like if Mexicans become the majority in the US.

Posted by Amren Reader at 6:25 PM on February 14

It could be a good thing that an American ex-patriate capitalist falls victim to the lawlessness he used to import to The States. There’s some irony here no matter one’s political orientation.

Posted by underdog at 6:54 PM on February 14

Foreigners CANNOT own land in Mexico. Do not let this stupid article fool you, as soon as the Mexican government sees the success that this poor gringo has on his farm they will seize it. This very thing happened to a family friend who was part owner of a dairy in Mexico, he had a wonderful life and was making quite a bit of money when he went home to CA for a vacation. When he returned after about a month his portion of the dairy had been seized by the Mexican government. Nearly destitute, he returned home and had to work at a dairy instead of owning one, he has never returned to the lifestyle that he became accustomed to.

Posted by Spartan24 at 7:09 PM on February 14

This is just another example of how globalism will in fact stifle progess.This farmer rather than thinking of ways to innovate is takeing the easy and greedy way out.Just like when we outsource to countries like India and China.Nations whose populations are not at all inventive.

Posted by Tony Soprano. at 7:09 PM on February 14

And by the way, Americans are not renting farm land in Mexico because of local xenophobia. Their motivation for renting (as opposed to buying) is due to a combination of fear regarding stability and reliability of the rule of law in a narco-banana republic and their aversion to investing in a resource that they plan on ruining by hyper productive agro-chemical based farming practices in an unregulated environment. None of the foregoing is to say, however, that Mexican (and other foreign) corporate agri-business interests don’t already have a long established history of engaging in the same practices.

Posted by underdog at 7:10 PM on February 14

First off, these guys are not farmers, they’re that strange entity known as an “agribusinessman.” For most of these guys, the only thing they can grow is older.

Second: If the agribusinessmen can’t find workers here, it’s because they don’t want to pay for it. So do us a favor and abandon your land, so we can homestead it and grow our own food, and not be controlled by the threat or use of famine like in other “workers’ paradises” like North Korea, China, Soviet Russia, et. al.

Posted by Wild Eyed Charlie at 7:21 PM on February 14

Good for you, Larry Cox. Move your operations to Mexico. Take your wife and daugters with you. I’d rather have your greed put your family in harm’s way than bring these criminals north of the border so they can murder US citizens. When you run into trouble down there, don’t ask the US for help. And by the way, Americans don’t want vegetables that have been grown and irrigated in Mexico.

Posted by at 7:48 PM on February 14

Mexico, which lost huge swathes of its northern territory in a 1846-48 war with the United States, is sensitive about foreigners buying land so most American farmers just rent.

American farmers are forced to rent farm land in Mexico, but illegal immigrants are being heavily impacted by the subprime mess, because they can buy a home in the U.S. without proof of identification or income. I’m glad that we are at least keeping them on thier side of the border, I geuss that’s the silver lining in this. So the rich in Mexico are going to continue to get richer, since only a few wealthy land owners are the ones profiting from renting thier land.

Posted by PincheGabacho at 8:09 PM on February 14

Sounds great to me. Let them grow all the oranges, lettuce, etc…down there in Mexico using cheap Mexican labor. I’d rather buy an imported head of lettuce using Mexican labor in Mexico than buy a domestic head of lettuce using illegal immigrants here in the United States.

More American farmers should move down there and take with them their illegal alien laborers. This would be a win win situation for the United States and Mexico. We can reduce the illegal alien population here in the U.S. and Mexico will gain top notch farmers who can create a large amount of agricultural exports.

BTW Mexico should bring in the 4500 former Rhodesian farmers kicked out of Zimbabwe by mad Mugabe. Mexico could become a major exporter of agricultural products.

Posted by at 8:33 PM on February 14

The first question that looms large is why didn’t the Mexicans think about growing their own crops in the first place? Why wait for an American to come down, rent the land, hire the workers, buy, sell, market, etc?

I hope this trend continues. California is running out of water and other resources as well. Resources like hospitals, schools freeways, neighborhoods, quality of life and money.

Posted by Lucas M at 8:35 PM on February 14

Hahahah….there is a reason they had their farms in the US and not in mexico to begin with. They seem to have forgotten but will quickly learn. Mexico is dangerous. There are more types of cost than money.

Posted by at 8:50 PM on February 14

“U.S. workers do not want strenuous farm jobs, said Cunha.”

US workers can’t afford to work for the slave wages that Cunha and his ilk want to pay, and still afford to eat, pay taxes and feed their families.

Posted by KC at 8:54 PM on February 14

OK, I got’a Question: How does a Gringo do business in Mexico? Is it possible for a Gringo to build a real business enterprise in Mexico? .. and keep it? ….. Because I’m there.

Over the years I heave many horror stores of American/European entrepreneurs in Mexico loosing their hard earned investments/business to theft - Mexican theft. You can build a business in Mexico and then the Mexicans will steal it “Well, Gringo We call it Nationalization.” We steal your property For the Greater Good of Mexico. So, thank you gringo for building this enterprise, now it is ours and you must now go home now … now or we will send you all to one or our most unpleasant prisons. ….. Isn’t that the story of PEMEX ? Nationalized “we sold it from the gringo” petroleum.

Posted by Bill*in*FlyOver*Country at 9:09 PM on February 14

Good, all americans who hire illegals should move to Mexico. If they want their slave wage labor so much, let them go to the 3rd world instead of turning the US into the 3rd world agaist the will of the american people just so they can have their “slaves.”

Posted by at 9:12 PM on February 14

Please leave with the blessings of Americans. Since most of you farmers have hired illegal aliens here, whoes social services you never pay, but make the taxpayer pay, no one is going to miss you. And besides, you’ll be happy because you’ll be in a place where you can practice your unmitigated greed tenfold the amount you did here. P.S. don’t come back.

Posted by Bobby at 11:20 PM on February 14

Posters above have made mention of the large numbers of illegals in this country. I guess I should say ‘America’ instead of country. I’m not talking about Mexico.

I have been thinking that given the domestic and foreign policies of the current administration and of former administrations, I firmly believe that the USA will eventually look exactly like Haiti. All of our forests will be cut down and shipped to China to be used as wood pulp. Hundreds of millions of third world peoples walking around looking for food, etc. After the forests and ground cover has been striped off, water erosion will finish off the land in a way that mere human greed could not accomplish.

Then yesterday I read an article about just this idea of what America will look like if we do not stop this massive inflow of people. I urge, urge, urge all AmRen readers to read this. There is not a direct link to the article, you will have to use the sites search feature. The link is:

Their date is Tuesday, February 12, 2008.

The author is Byron W. King. He is an attorney in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.

The title is: “Depleting Resources, Leaping Population”.

It is the second article on the page for that day. The first is by Bill Bonner entitled: “All Quiet on the Western Front?”. You will have to scroll down.

Perhaps the editor of this AmRen site will choose to make King’s article a feature of the day.

Posted by at 4:28 AM on February 15

“So do us a favor and abandon your land, so we can homestead it and grow our own food,” great comment by Wild Eyed Charlie.

The sentiment echoes the beliefs of the Free-Soil Movement before the Civil War. “Free Land for Free White Men.”

Today’s agribusinesses essentially use immigrant slave labor. The Agbusinesses undercut the traditional family farmer and spoil our country with their importation of immigrant slaves. We don’t need a return to slavery in the U.S. Let the agrbusinesses relocate out of the U.S. and to Mexico and the rest of Latin America.

The land they leave behind should be resettled by White families being forced out of our decaying urban areas. White families should have the opportunity to once again be free.

Imagine having your own piece of land with no mortgage to pay to a predatory bank. The ability to grow most of your own food - uncontrolled and untaxed by the government. The space and means to raise a large healthy White family.

Posted by at 5:25 AM on February 15

“Foreigners CANNOT own land in Mexico.”

Wrong! Foreigners can own land anywhere in Mexico as long as it’s at least 50 kilometers from the coast.

Posted by Am I black enough for ya? at 4:02 PM on February 15

Am I Black Enough For Ya:

The version I was told, by a leftist Chicano Studies professor from Washington State that I was in a debate in in another internet message board, was that, legally, non-Mexicans cannot singularly own Mexican real estate (i.e. they can if a Mexican is a co-owner), however, in practical reality, this legal missive is only enforced near the coasts. The reason is that the beach real estate is the only kind in Mexico worth anything.

Posted by St. Louis CofCC Blogmeister at 9:48 PM on February 15

Tired of high priced fruits and vegatables in the US? Use prison labor and get a return on your investment. We don’t need any illegal immigrant labor.

Posted by Jim at 7:26 PM on February 17

Given the massive subsidies to American agriculture, from crop subsidies to labor subsidies (illegals) to water subsidies (farmers get their water for practically, free) I’m not sure that there’s any longer an economic benefit to having a native agriculture industry. I want there to be, but let’s face the fact that farming is an activity that can be done with illiterate stoop labor in any Third World country. Best to move on to industries where America has a competitive advantage and let these jobs move abroad. It makes no sense that my $350 iPod says “Made in China” (with the most valuable part, the miniature hard drive, made in Japan) while my $2 head of cauliflower says “Grown in Castroville, California.” It could just as easily say “Grown in Chihuahua.”

Posted by Alan at 9:06 PM on February 17

“Mexico, which lost huge swathes of its northern territory in a 1846-48 war with the United States, is sensitive about foreigners buying land so most American farmers just rent.”

Posted by PincheGabacho at 8:09 PM on February 14

As we can see from these posts, there are many reasons for American Farmers to rent, but the loss of regulation and the ease of using toxic chemicals to produce huge crops effortlessly is the paramount reason. That and the labor availibility. But I must offer a bit of a historical correction to this post - which I guess most Amren posters know well. The U.S. could have taken over Mexico as it captured Mexico City. Instead, wishing for Mexico to become a democratic republic, it returned the city to the Mexicans and paid for the border realignment - re - The Gadsden Purchase. That was for undeveloped and mostly desert lands and mostly only once had a Spanish flag parading through it. Historical honesty is what Mexico and Mexicans lack most. Few Mexicans lived in those “large swathes of land.” It’s former Mexican glory is largely a political myth of today.

Posted by Whiteplight at 1:45 PM on February 18

“Best to move on to industries where America has a competitive advantage and let these jobs move abroad. It makes no sense that my $350 iPod says “Made in China” (with the most valuable part, the miniature hard drive, made in Japan) while my $2 head of cauliflower says “Grown in Castroville, California.” It could just as easily say “Grown in Chihuahua.”

Posted by Alan at 9:06 PM on February 17

Except that your cauliflower from Mexico would be shot through with carcinogenic chemicals. We cannot afford the error of becoming a nation that imports all its food. Farmers are the salt of the earth and without them, you really don’t have a culture and so a nation.

In fact, my wife and I are planning a large garden this year. I used to garden for pleasure, but now I view it as a necessity. Anyone with any possibility for it ought to learn how to grow vegetables and begin “Victory Gardens.” (As the British did in WW2). I deeply believe that the idea of blood and soil is truly at the basis of an ethnic culture. If whites want to find themselves again, then we must return to the time when 90% of us were Farmers. I am not saying that we ought to revert to poor sharecroppers or anything like that, but that we must put our hands into the dirt and re-establish our spiritual relationship with our land - that is the basis of all cultures and necessary to white who are looking for their deep grounding identity.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, family farms are coming back and they work as subscribers who have regluar customers who pick up locally grown produce once a week. Yes. it has its origin in the old hippy “back to the land” movement, but they were right and many of those “hippies” became innovators and politically conservative as they became responsible. But there is no reason that the left show own healthy living habits or organic farming in general. You won’t succeed in a white seperatist movement that runs on coffee and McDonalds.

My great grandfather was a farmer. His son became a doctor and so did I. But I learned how to garden a long time ago and now retired, I am getting into it all the way; I am building a chicken coop and planning a large garden. This posting is just a break in my outdoor work. Work, which is by the way, very healthy for you!

But I feel that everthing I do in this way, including going to the shooting range regularly - is my reality in preparing and being the race and culture that I want to see survive.

Posted by Whiteplight at 1:59 PM on February 18

Except that your cauliflower from Mexico would be shot through with carcinogenic chemicals. We cannot afford the error of becoming a nation that imports all its food. - Whiteplight

Great post, sir. My point is that I’d prefer my vegetables be grown in Mexico to having half of Mexico relocte to the US. We can inspect and test imported produce. Shipping back millions of Mexicans is tougher, and giving them the vote is deadly.

Posted by Alan at 4:23 PM on February 22

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