Hiring Locally for Farm Work Is No Cure-All

"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. “It’s absolutely true that people who have played by the rules are having the toughest time of all,” said Senator Michael Bennet, a Democrat from Colorado."

New York Times, Oct. 5, 2011.