HispanicVista Guest Columnists
A new paper from North Carolina State University argues that federal farm subsidies contribute to the migration of both legal and illegal farm labor into the United States and that, since federal actions are an impetus for the influx of migrant labor, the federal government should do a better job of enforcing laws designed to protect those workers.
“We have agricultural subsidies at the
federal level that are huge,” says Dr. Robert Peace, a professor
of accounting at NC State and author of the paper.
“For example, corn is
highly subsidized. Because of our subsidies, and the North
American Free Trade Agreement,
Peace argues that, since this migration is
an unintended consequence of the
Peace points to the H2A farm workers, who are in the country legally on temporary visas. These workers, Peace says, are subject to audit inspections by state agencies, to ensure that the workers are being paid a legal wage and have safe living and working conditions.
The inspectors who perform these audits are
competent, Peace says, but there are not enough of them.
“Regardless of whether they are here
legally or illegally, migrant workers are vital to healthy
production levels from
The paper, “Auditing State And Federal Protections For Migrant And Seasonal Agricultural Workers,” will be published in a forthcoming issue of the International Journal of Critical Accounting.
NC State’s Department of Accounting is part
of the university’s
The article abstract follows.
“Auditing State And Federal Protections For Migrant And Seasonal Agricultural Workers”
Author: Robert Peace,
Published: forthcoming, International Journal of Critical Accounting
Abstract: The Migrant and Seasonal
Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA) was enacted to provide
workplace protections for migrant and seasonal farm workers.
The U.S. Department of Labor is charged with enforcement of the
Act’s wage and hour provisions as well as parts of the Act that
ensure health and safety. Studies conclude that US Government
enforcement of MSPA has been ineffective. Part of what is
perceived to be an illegal immigration problem in the
You can also contact Dr. Peace firstname.lastname@example.org.