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Rural Migration Blog

September 16, 2022

Fruit and Vegetable Imports

The US is expected to import $43 billion worth of fresh and processed fruits and vegetables in FY22, up from $39 billion in FY21. Some $16 billion of fresh fruit was imported in FY21, accounting for 40 percent of fruit and vegetable imports by value, followed by $10 billion or 25 percent fresh vegetables and $6 billion each for processed fruits and vegetables.

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The H-2A Program in 2020

The H-2A program allows US employers who anticipate labor shortages to be certified by the US Department of Labor (DOL) to employ guest workers (1) if they try and fail to recruit US workers and (2) if the employment of H-2A workers does not adversely affect US workers. The recruitment test involves farmers posting their jobs and failing to attract US workers, and the adverse effect test requires employers to pay an Adverse Effect Wage Rate that is typically higher than federal, state, and local minimum wages.

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Immigrant Integration

How well do immigrants and their children integrate into the US economy and society? During the third wave of immigration before WWI, when a million immigrants a year arrived in the US from southern and eastern Europe, there were fears that Italians, Jews, Poles and others would not become Americans. The arrival of rural Mexicans and Central Americans raises similar fears today.

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July 29, 2022

California NAWS 2019-20

DOL’s National Agricultural Workers Survey interviewed 3,582 California non-H-2A crop workers over four years, 2015-19, almost 900 a year. California crop workers are aging, settling in one place with one farm employer, and are half unauthorized. Their personal incomes averaged $2,000 a month from farm earnings of about $600 a week for 35 to 40 weeks a year. Most California crop workers want to continue to do farm work as long as they can.

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Canadian Immigration

Canada is the great immigration exception among industrial countries. The government aims to increase the population of 38 million by one percent each year with immigrants, has a generous social welfare system, and enjoys widespread public support for its immigration and integration policies. Canadian exceptionalism is due in part to a flexible point system that gives priority to young and well-educated foreigners who know English or French and who studied or worked in Canada.

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