A Reader Smells Something Rotten in the Strawberry Fields
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From: [Name Withheld]
Re: Edwin S. Rubenstein`s Column:
Looking (in vain) for “Jobs Americans Won`t Do”
Here`s a story about
illegal alien labor your readers might find
interesting, frustrating and amusing albeit in a
A few years back when my son was looking for work, he
came across an ad from a
strawberry patch not too far from our home wherein
the owner was looking for
pickers at $14 per hour for an 8-hour day. Since
the job paid a good salary, my son gave him a call.
Here`s what happened.
It appeared that the owner was trying to do things
the right way by advertising for willing workers as is
Department of Labor (DOL) before he could be
certified to apply to the US Citizenship and Immigration
Services (USCIS) for a foreign-worker visa permit.
However, what the grower did, as I found out by
asking a few questions through my son, was turn down
anyone who said that they were a US citizen or had a
His goal was to get a DOL certification for
foreign workers. In other words, he had to prove to
DOL that he had made an effort by placing an ad and that
no one had responded to it in a reasonable period of
At the time, my son went to
school with a Hispanic friend who agreed to pretend
to be illegal. He drove out to the patch and asked about
the job. But—surprise— he was told that the
wage was $7 per hour for a 14-hour day!
My son`s friend told them that he had several friends
and would be back. Of course, he never returned because
he is a US citizen and also didn`t want to pick
strawberries—at least not at that
wage and for that many hours!
employers who pretend to follow the rules actually