Agribusiness Lobbyists Have Second Thoughts about Executive Amnesty

By Ronald W. Mortensen on January 13, 2015

The old adage warns "Be careful what you wish for", and a Garth Brooks song thanks God for unanswered prayers. So it is interesting to watch those in the agriculture sector squirm now that their wishes and prayers have been answered.

Flash back to 2005 and the Agricultural Coalition for Immigration Reform (ACIR) was telling people that amnesty for illegal aliens will allow them to meet the shortage of legal agricultural workers:

To meet the existing shortage of legal workers, and avoid the immediate need for a large number of guest workers, workers who can prove that they are experienced agricultural workers can earn the opportunity to obtain legal status.

Now flash forward to 2014 when the president's executive amnesty gives them what they wished, prayed, campaigned, and lobbied for — a pool of newly legal workers. And, as a bonus, since up to 85 percent of California's agricultural workers are illegally in the United States, according to Manuel Cunha, president of the Fresno-based Nisei Farmers League and board member of ACIR, employers can now stop being accomplices to forgery, document fraud, identify theft, and Social Security fraud committed by their illegal alien workers.

So, agriculture must be overjoyed.

Well, not exactly.

Cunha, who has reportedly advised the Obama administration on immigration policy, is not pleased with the outcome because "50,000 of the state's farmworkers could leave the fields and packing houses in California's $46.4 billion agricultural industry. ... How do I replace that?" he said. "I think we're going to have a problem."

Still more concerns were raised by Lynn Jacques, Esq. and Monte B. Lake, Esq., of SJ-Lake LLC, and ACIR co-chairman Craig Regelburgge, who warn employers of illegal aliens that amnesty for their illegal workers has put them at increased risk of being prosecuted for knowingly hiring illegal workers.

Based on their reaction, one wonders why Cunha, ACIR, and their allies would have advocated so hard for amnesty for illegal aliens if the result was going to be a net loss in workers and an increased risk of prosecution for employers of illegal aliens. Only they know why they did what they did. But they have learned an important lesson about the dangers of getting what you wish for and have also gained a better understanding of how unanswered prayers can sometimes be a blessing.