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Concerns Over Immigration Crackdowns Lead U.S. Farms to Recruit in Mexico

In response to fears that stricter enforcement of immigration laws will create a shortage of farm workers, the U.S. agricultural industry has headed to Mexico to recruit temporary -- and legal -- migrant workers. Jeffrey Kaye of KCET-Los Angeles reports on the farm industry's recruitment attempts and worker shortfalls.

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  • GWEN IFILL:

    Next, recruiting laborers from Mexico to work legally and temporarily on U.S. farms. NewsHour correspondent Jeffrey Kaye of KCET-Los Angeles reports.

  • JEFFREY KAYE, NewsHour Correspondent:

    Most days, Rene Urbano arrives before dawn outside the United States consulate in Monterrey in northeast Mexico. He comes to make sure his export business is running smoothly.

    What Urbano ships are people. Working with agents throughout Mexico and with a U.S. placement firm, Urbano runs a company that recruits temporary laborers, mainly farm workers, for U.S. businesses.

    Migrant workers come to Monterrey to obtain visas issued by the U.S. government. And as the lines and throngs of applicants outside the consulate indicate, the recruitment industry is booming.

  • RENE URBANO, Labor Contractor:

    Last year, we sent in like 2,000 workers. And this year, we're going to send like 4,000 workers.

  • JEFFREY KAYE:

    Wow.

  • RENE URBANO:

    It's double.

  • JEFFREY KAYE:

    Inside the consulate, staff members process the visa applications brought in by Urbano and other recruiters.

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