In Alabama -conflict between competitive agricultural products and strict immigration laws

An article in bloombergbusinessweek (Nov 14,2011) describes the impact of stricter immigration laws in Alabama – the near disappearance of workers from Guatemala who worked in the tomato fields and fish processing plants.  Given retail competition from importers who pay low wages abroad, domestic manufacturers can only afford fo pay minimum wage, expect backbreaking performance and skip medical benefits. but such jobs are then shunned by unemployed US workers, thus pressurizing domestic manufacturers.  Sould Alabama ease immigration law enforcement, thus enabling local manufacturing ? Should farmers switch to more automated picking and associated crops ? Should the state subsidize some of the labor costs and make agriculture more productive ?

About aviyer2010

Professor
This entry was posted in Global Contexts, Operations Management, Supply Chain Issues and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to In Alabama -conflict between competitive agricultural products and strict immigration laws

  1. I think this is a great example of how states’ rights lead to government growth. Alabama is trying to enforce immigration laws. If they are successful and industries grow because of it, other states will adopt the same practice. If they fail, the rest of the states won’t make the same mistakes.
    To help make this work, I like the idea to subsidize labor costs. The government will be saving money by not having to support illegal immigrants for health care, schools, etc., thereby making subsidies more possible.

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