J. Edward Taylor and Phil Martin comment on California vineyard workers featured in Mother Jones

Migration research cluster

Napa and Sonoma counties produce most of the state’s high-end grapes in their combined 1,000 wineries. Like the rest of the state’s agriculture, the industry has long relied on immigrant workers for its heaviest labor. Over the last few decades, millions of Mexicans have come north to work on US farms. But in the last few years, the migrations have slowed: The journey became more expensive and more dangerous, and the 2008 recession took hold. Taylor comments "This is a case where what’s good for Mexico creates big challenges for California farmers." 

President Donald Trump has called for a crackdown on immigrants because he says they “compete directly against vulnerable American workers.” But to California’s grape growers, this claim is laughable.
Phil comments "Nobody wants these jobs." He says that the shortage is part of a larger trend in agriculture, one that has sparked a race “between rising imports, more machines, and foreign guest workers."
 

Read the full feature here.

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