The Looming Questions Over Labor

Every four years our country goes through a marathon debate over who will be the President of the United States.  The process is long and arduous and the whole thing culminates in a national election in November. The process is so long, arduous, and drawn out because of what is at stake: The seat of government and federal policy.

This past election cycle was unprecedented for so many reasons. Now we are living with the results and trying to understand what shifts in policy mean for those in business in California, and specifically those in industries like agriculture, which depend on immigrant labor. In some sectors, at least, the new shift in policy has resulted in record gains in the stock market, but not everyone is reacting so positively.

Crackdown on Immigration

 One of the big issues of the last election cycle was immigration, specifically on how to enforce the immigration laws already in place, and what changes needed to be made. Now that one side of the argument has won, we see what shifts in policy are being implemented.

One of the biggest changes in the new policy is who is being prioritized for deportation. For the last several years, the federal government did not emphasize deporting anyone who was in the country illegally, but instead focused on those caught here within 100 miles of the U.S. border and those convicted of serious crimes. But that focus is now changing.

The Department of Homeland Security is changing who it considers a deportation priority, and it is a big change. Pursuant to a memorandum released by the DHS, those convicted of any crime, including minor crimes, are now a deportation priority for the immigration authorities. This covers, for example, those using a false social security number, and those who have made false statements on an I-9 form.

Effect on the Labor Market

 The effects of this new shift in policy have yet to make their full impact, but these changes will likely dry up the available labor market. While the president recently called for bipartisan reform on immigration in general, an overly zealous enforcement program will limit the number of available labourers in the country.

All of this discussion does not even approach other issues that continue to rock the market in California. Issues such as mandatory paid time off for workers, leave, and other laws continue to threaten the way agricultural interests conduct business, and if the issues are not dealt with, could result in costly litigation down the road. That is why the need for qualified counsel on labor and agriculture issues is more important today than ever.

At the Royse Law Firm, we are the counselors that your company needs to help you understand what your legal options are and help you craft a plan going forward. Contact us today so we can be partners with your company.

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