How the immigraton fuss affects small farms

We have a small farm and we hire several people to help us with the work. For a long time we used local people with mixed success. Last year we hired a Mexican worker, Pedro, who was here on a H2B visa. He has been great. We pay a little more for him but we use one worker where we used to use two. Part of the explanation is that he is male, physcally capable of doing the work without injury, and does not mind working alone. We used to use two female workers and they were happiest if they worked as a group and split the work. Even then the work was physically tasking for them. The females easily preferred grooming over stall cleaning even if it meant less hours. So we found a happy medium for our workers.

Now we have a problem because imigration(illegal alien worker) issues is the hot political issue. Our man had come in on a group visa approval and the government is not approving groups anymore. That’s too bad! The cost to the farm was minimal. Since I prefer to follow the laws I put him on a payroll, paid overtime, and withheld taxes just like any other employee. His cost for the visa was about $300. That is a lot of money but he felt it was pretty reasonable. We had a mutually acceptable plan.

His lawyer recommended that our farm sponsor him. Pedro was getting pretty anxious about the situation so he had a friend write us a letter asking us to help him. Yesterday I spent a couple of hours translating his note and reading the legal papers his lawyer sent us. We are going to sponsor him but it is going to cost almost $1,000 if we are approved. I won’t go in to the details of how we manage the increased cost. Except for the fact that our costs are going up because of this political mess, this immigration mess is much ado about nothing.  If we are not approved, we will be a mess for awhile. Assuming we are approved, we don’t expect to change much.