The [Mexican fertility] rate dropped from 7.3 children per woman in 1960 to 2.4 in 2009, meaning there are fewer people entering the workforce. At the same time, indicators of development such as literacy, average years of education and healthcare have improved.
STOCKTON -- In the center of a starkly lighted wrestling ring, RJ Brewer glared at the overwhelmingly Latino crowd and spread the flag of Arizona across his back.
Buff, mean, white and glistening with baby oil, he snatched the microphone from the referee. "I come from the greatest city in the United States: Phoenix, Arizona!" the wrestler yelled in English. "Phoenix is the only city with a woman in power with the guts to get into the president's face and address the real problem in this country!"
The audience knows that the "problem" he is referring to is illegal immigration. And the woman is his so-called mother — conservative Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who signed the nation's toughest law against illegal immigrants.
I wonder if there are any studies of regarding down-on-their luck U.S. citizens who have needed to suck it up and do the "dirty jobs" of fruit picking and ditch digging that Hispanics would traditionally do for low wages, and that were unthinkable before the Bush Recession.
"The fact remains there's still 7 million illegal aliens occupying jobs that should go to American citizens," he said. "It's nowhere near mission accomplished."
How can there be a labor shortage when nearly one out of every 11 people in the nation are unemployed?
That’s the question John Harold asked himself last winter when he was trying to figure out how much help he would need to harvest the corn and onions on his 1,000-acre farm here in western Colorado.
The simple-sounding plan that resulted — hire more local people and fewer foreign workers — left Mr. Harold and others who took a similar path adrift in a predicament worthy of Kafka.
The more they tried to do something concrete to address immigration and joblessness, the worse off they found themselves.
Six hours was enough, between the 6 a.m. start time and noon lunch break, for the first wave of local workers to quit. Some simply never came back and gave no reason. Twenty-five of them said specifically, according to farm records, that the work was too hard. On the Harold farm, pickers walk the rows alongside a huge harvest vehicle called a mule train, plucking ears of corn and handing them up to workers on the mule who box them and lift the crates, each weighing 45 to 50 pounds.
Heath Terrell is one of the few new local residents who stuck it out. Mr. Terrell, a former hay hauler, was hired to drive a corn truck. That job kept him out of the fields, and out of the sun. Now, as the season has shifted from corn to onions, Mr. Terrell, 42, said he might just stay on with Mr. Harold through the winter, or at least onion season.
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