Moneymoney

Sat Mar 18, 2017, 10:07 AM

Immigration crackdown has berry growers feeling blue

President Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown is worrying some of the nation’s blueberry farmers.

Bill Mortellite, the third generation of his family to grow blueberries in Hammonton, New Jersey, the self–described “Blueberry Capital of the World,” typically needs about 125 workers to harvest his 240-acre farm. This year, he thinks he will be lucky to find 10 pickers because many people are so worried about Trump’s tough talk on immigration that they don’t want to take the risk of working in New Jersey’s blueberry fields.

The Trump administration’s immigration restrictions “are going to push us out of business,” said Morterllite, whose operation is called Blueberry Bill Farms, in an interview, joking that “I hope Donald Trump comes to pick, because I would hire him.”

New Jersey is the country’s fifth-largest blueberry producer, generating $79.5 million in sales in 2014 (the latest data that’s available). Labor is a particularly dicey issue for the state’s berry farmers because most of their crop winds up in the fresh produce market. They prefer that berries be picked by hand because machines tend to sweep up green, unripe berries along with sweet blue ones, costing them sales and hurting profits.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/donald-trump-immigration-blueberry-farmers/

Personally, I prefer blueberries from Michigan or Peru.

9 replies, 100 views

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Response to Agent_86 (Original post)

Sat Mar 18, 2017, 10:15 AM

1. They can pay more, or get worker VISA. Liberals ought to be glad that livable wages being offered

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Response to Agent_86 (Original post)

Sat Mar 18, 2017, 10:42 AM

2. NJ news to me

I just don't think of agriculture on the east coast.

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Response to def_con5 (Reply #2)

Mon Mar 20, 2017, 09:57 AM

5. South Jersey is mostly farms. NT

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Response to Agent_86 (Original post)

Sat Mar 18, 2017, 10:48 AM

3. So this guy is admitting that he has been hiring illegal immigrants. ICE should check his I-9 forms.

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Response to Troll2 (Reply #3)

Tue Mar 21, 2017, 10:45 AM

6. Actually he admitted nothing of the sort...

he said "immigrants", which could mean even legal immigrants.

Legal immigrants might be misinterpreting this whole illegal immigration thing to mean that even they would be subject to deportation.

Or maybe they understand it, but do not trust the words of politicians to limit the deportation to only illegals.

The second option sounds plausible, as I'm sure people from certain other countries are well accustomed to lying, cheating, and corruption in their home countries and assume they'll encounter it elsewhere. Which they will. Even here.

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Response to Squeek (Reply #6)

Tue Mar 21, 2017, 05:29 PM

8. It doesn't sound like he is one of the grower checking papers closely. He should hire Kellyanne

At least one member of the Trump administration has first-hand knowledge of New Jersey’s blueberry growers. White House adviser KellyAnne Conway grew up in southern New Jersey, went to high school in Hammonton and worked as a blueberry picker during summer breaks from school. She was also crowned New Jersey Blueberry Princess in 1982 when she was 18.

“We are certainly hopeful that she is going to be successful within the new administration,” said Denny Doyle, a spokesman for Atlantic Blueberry, the state’s largest producer. “Hopefully, everything is going to work out.”

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Response to Agent_86 (Original post)

Sat Mar 18, 2017, 09:57 PM

4. He wouldn't be feeling blue if he wasn't breaking the law by hiring illegals

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Response to Agent_86 (Original post)

Tue Mar 21, 2017, 10:51 AM

7. I'm wondering if

he could use other strategies to keep his business going.

Where I live, blueberries are relatively common...I have about 15 bushes in my own yard. But other people have larger spaces, and most of them have the seasonal "Pick your own" thing going on.

The guy could employ as many people as would work there, then open up his fields to the public. Makes a pretty fun day for families and their kids, and gives city people a sense of "getting back to the land", sort of.

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Response to Agent_86 (Original post)

Wed Mar 22, 2017, 07:32 PM

9. Too bad,

I guess they'll have to cancel their annual Red White and BlueBerry Festival. Looks like fun!

More winning, and we've just begun!


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