Jerry Nadler: Vegetables Will Rot If Illegals Aren't There to Pick Them Like Slaves

Brittany M. Hughes | January 12, 2024
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Rep. Jerry Nadler says letting illegal aliens into the country is a necessity - so they can pick our crops at sub-minimum wage.

“We need immigrants in this country,” the New York Democrat said during a House hearing Thursday on the impact of illegal immigration on welfare programs. “Forget the fact that the farm…vegetables would rot in the ground if they weren’t being picked by many immigrants — many illegal immigrants!”

Translation: we need undocumented migrants to pick our grapes for $8 an hour.

Sounds an awful lot like the line Democrats were peddling about 160 years ago about another group of imported people.

The rub here isn’t that Nadler’s necessarily wrong when pointing out that illegal aliens make up a good percentage of the farmhands that pick America’s fruits and vegetables and keep the wheels of seasonal agriculture rotating. They do. According to the Center for Migration Studies of New York, there are currently about 283,000 illegal aliens working in the agriculture industry in the United States. Half of those work in California.

They also get paid on average between $11 and $14 an hour, according to a 2021 report from the Economic Policy Institute. (For comparison, in California, the legal minimum wage is $16 an hour.)

Related: VA Blasted For Processing Illegal Aliens' Medical Care Claims While Thousands of Vets Wait

And the farm industry is hardly the only one that profits off next-to-slave labor from illegal aliens. In 2016, the Texas Tribune cited undocumented construction workers making less than $7 an hour, much of it under the table and out of sight of state and federal minimum wage laws. Low pay and inconsistent income translates directly into the number of illegal aliens taking some form of assistance from public welfare programs. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, 59 percent of households headed by an illegal alien use at least one form of social service, whether that be cash assistance, food stamps, Medicaid, or housing assistance.

But all that’s cool with Jerry, here - we should welcome unmanageable droves of illegal aliens with open arms!

After all, it's not like the cotton's gonna pick itself.

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