Benefits Of Illegal Migrant Workers

1486 Words6 Pages
Once working in the U.S., undocumented migrant laborers are perfectly exploitable. Because they are not citizens or on work visas, they essentially have no rights in the minds of some farms. Farms may provide poor quality housing, but no other work benefits. Agriculture doesn’t have to pay hourly minimum wage, so instead workers are paid by piece rate: employment in which a worker is paid a fixed rate for each unit produced no matter the time invested. In some areas, farms make it appear that they are paying laborers minimum wage by requiring laborers to pick enough produce to equal a full day’s pay. Over exhaustion induced by this is typically untreated because of the lack of proper medical care available to migrant workers; either because of personal funds, or ignorant lenses through which doctors view Mexican migrant patients (Holmes, 2013, p. 113). Then if a laborer expresses any issues to their employers, employers will use the labor’s undocumented status against them. Essentially, they’ll threaten the laborer with deportation if the laborer were to make any action against the farm because of labor rights violations--first hand manipulation of the social divides of labor.
Yet, if the conditions of this job are so poor, and the laborers severely exploited, why do people still choose to make the dangerous journey? The answer is documented in Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies by Seth Holmes. After spending time working and living with Mexican migrant laborers to better understand
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