Illegal Immigration’s Impact on Agricultural History


Illegal immigration is the entering in other country without permission and a person becomes an illegal immigrant if: one enters a country without authority or inspection, staying beyond the authorized period after legal entry, or by violating the terms of legal entry.

How Illegal Immigration Affects the Agricultural History

The working conditions for the agricultural workers were harsh and many workers in the field were not provided with the basic necessities such as clean drinking water or portable toilets, unfair hiring practices, such as favoritism and the kickbacks and the seldom were their living quarters equipped with indoor plumbing or cooking facilities. Through a series of demonstrations, strikes, and protests then there was a call for a boycott of the table grapes, which became a nationwide boycott.

The individual point to the weak border control as a source of illegal human trafficking, increased migrant fatalities, greater drug trafficking, and increased gang activity and that these immigrants affects all Americans as it depresses wages, leads to job loss, drains the US economy of the public funds for social services and education, and compromises homeland security. Most of the immigrants enter the US labor market through the agricultural sector and their flow has been temporary but there has been a positive increase in the permanent migration.

The agricultural sector has been affected by these immigrants through: the immigrant’s legal status, the wages they receive comparatively, the educational level they possess and the perceptions of the established US residents as to what benefits. The immigrants’ earnings relative to the labor market, the implementation of the different migration programs, past immigration characteristics, the educational levels and its influence, comparisons to other ethnic group to see the relative standings, and the number that actually migrate all these have an impact on the labor market in the United States. (Stark, 1985)

The significant effects of the undocumented immigrant workers’ earnings to those of the other workers are positive, but have minimal importance and also the legal immigrants affect the earnings of the native whites negatively and also at a minimal degree. The economic effects of a guest worker program in the agricultural fields are detrimental if these workers decide to permanently migrate to the United States. Many of the U.S. fruit and vegetable producers are aware that may be half of their employees could be unauthorized to work in the U.S. and are pushing production levels in order to take the advantage of the low wage illegal immigrants and therefore the producers will benefit especially if the U.S. economy continues to weaken further.

The educational level is a key indicator as to why the illegal immigrants have played a vital role in the agricultural sector and it is because of their low levels of education that has led to high increase of these immigrants in the labor- intensive jobs. The age of the migration directly affects the position, field, and industry the youth will work in. those who migrate before becoming teenagers are less likely to hold labor intensive jobs, such as agriculture than those who migrated during their teen years due possibly to the educational attainment in the U.S. The less skilled workers prefer to limit inflows of migrants into the U.S. and the issue that the immigrants are willing to work for lower wages also play a key role in their effect on the sector the economic performance has declined largely due to the level of knowledge the immigrants possess and the differences in income and what percentages of the immigrants are in what industry, agriculture playing a major role throughout the period.

The location also plays a key role because many immigrants do migrate to the southwest United States in order to work in the low- skilled agricultural jobs, therefore the immigrants who just come for employment may not be looking to assimilate, thus causing a low progress level. (Bean, 1990)

An increase in immigration in the United States increases the domestic capital; this is due to an increase in the population which in turn increases human labor and also with the increase in human capital, the wealth of the United States increases due to the supplemental aggregate. The production of other capital usually follows that of the human capital, with more people available to work then the production levels of the country increase.

In order for a person to part from their homeland and their customs, they must have a sense of reassurance and the drive to work and be successful. The immigrants begin to work in labor intensive jobs and this is due to the language barrier or the skills they possess. The necessary work in the United States is often the less desirable type of work, such as farming, construction, and meatpacking and many of the immigrants have to work on these positions. (Bean, 1990)

The immigration can also be said to reduce the amount of jobs available to those already residing in the United States and the technology has been blamed for a reduction in the number of jobs available which is due to down sizing. Many immigrants work in the occupations that are undesirable to those residing in the country and therefore there may be an increase in competition among each other and therefore the wages decrease as a result. In labor- intensive occupations, such as agriculture, a reduction in wages can be beneficial to the country because it causes a reduction in the price of the products.

The unemployment rates is high in areas of lower immigration and this is due to the fact that immigrants will take the available jobs, even if they are not appealing and occupy them thus increasing the employment statistic and also majority of the immigrants migrate while they are in their prime working age. When the Mexican economy begins to recuperate after all the corruption that has existed and all the changes that have occurred, there will be a similar number of illegal immigrants to the united sates.

The U.S. farmers hire independent contractors to find the employees needed to farm their lands and these independent contractors have to be competitive in order to find a good number of the U.S. farmers willing to hire them and therefore in order to offer the lowest price, the independent contractors look for the cheapest labor which is from the illegal immigrants. The reduction in the production cost, low prices can be maintained at a low cost and if the amount paid in wages doubles, there will be an automatic increase in the price of production, which would cause there to be less profits and the product to increase in price

The links formed between the employers, recruiters and migrant workers have lowered the costs and the risks of migrating to the United States for work and the key factors such as the networks and the availability of people smugglers known as the coyotes allow the migration to rise. The underlying determinants of Mexico- U.S. migration are the high wages and the job availability in the United States. For a given labor inflow, the productivity gains from the immigration will be larger the scarcer the skills of the incoming immigrants and a given type of the worker may be scarce either because the U.S. Supply of his skill type is low relative to the rest of the world, as with workers who have little education or because the U.S. demands for his skill type is high relative to the rest of the world. (Phillips, 1999)

The government need to discourage immigrants from the country and the best way to do this is by helping to improve the economies of their homeland. Getting involved or restricting the inflow of the human capital is interfering with the natural behavior of a free market which will prove to be detrimental. The issue of the legal status is quite interesting in that the majority of the legal immigrants has previously resided in the United States as illegal immigrants and the illegal immigrants are less likely to be a threat to others in the U.S. labor market than the legal workers.

The illegal immigrants are expected to have negative effect to the legal immigrants because many times they hold the same type of position in the labor market, this is not the case and the fact that once a person is legal in this country; they are required to be paid minimum wage and most of the illegal immigrants are likely to work for less and in the less desirable conditions, they are also aid in the production of other laborers thus enhancing total production, while only incurring a small cost and therefore many illegal immigrants benefit others by doing the necessary and undesirable work for a lower price. (Hirschman, 2001)

The legal immigrants are less likely to be involved in the agricultural sector, with the legal status they can legally acquire more skills to improve their potential in order to work in more attractive occupations and this would cause a negative effect on others in the labor market because they are competing for the same jobs as others in the labor market, therefore illegal immigration is increasingly more economically beneficial than the legal workers. The amount one makes is directly related to how involved he or she is in the agricultural sector and if the immigrants are not increasing their wages at the same percentage as the other groups, then one is not willing to work at a lower wage rate.

The performance of immigrants in the labor market can be directly attributed to the education they have and many immigrants are likely to hold labor – intensive jobs because their education is significantly lower than those of the United States residents.

For the low- skilled workers in much of the world, U.S. admissions make the illegal immigration the most viable means of entering the country. The illegal immigration accomplishes what the legal immigration does not: it moves large numbers of the skilled worker from low- productivity to high- productivity environment. Illegal immigration also brings low- skilled workers to the United States when the productivity gains of doing so appear to be highest. But for the high- skilled labor, the legal immigration is the primary means of entering the country. The U.S. supply of educated labor, technology- induced increases in the labor demand making the country an attractive destination for educated workers from abroad.

The employment- based green cards and the temporary work visas make such skilled immigration possible. Immigration generates extra income for the economy even as it pushes down wages for some workers and by increasing the supply of labor, the immigration raises the productivity of resources that are complementary to labor. If immigrants pay more in taxes than they receive in the government benefits, then the immigration generates a net fiscal transfer to native taxpayers and the total impact of the immigration on the U.S. residents- the sum of the immigration surplus and the net fiscal transfer from the immigrants would be unambiguously positive. (Stark, 1985)

Immigration policy is set to balance the individuals struggle to balance guarding against the waves of illegal immigration with the demands of agriculture and other industries that rely on migrant labor.

The growing importance of the Latin vote includes: the propose allowing illegal immigrants who arrive to qualify for the guest- worker visas; allowing the undocumented workers to stay in the US while they apply, these undocumented workers would register with the government or pay back- taxes and then go through a series of background checks and work at least six years before applying for a green card; the coalition for border and economic security pools the resources of the industry association and promotes the guest worker plan; need for additional border patrol agents; the department of the homeland security sends more border patrol agents although these are transfers rather than new hires; a policy that permits temporary guest workers to fill jobs Americans will not take; the legislation in new Mexico that allows immigrants to get a driver’s license ; and lastly the immigrants have been beneficial and less damage is committed compared to their contribution.


Illegal immigration in the agricultural sector in the United States has been beneficial as an illegal worker will do his or her work in any field at any conditions and therefore increasing the productivity of the sector. But for the legal immigration then it is viewed that the productivity will not be high as compared to that of the illegal immigration. Most of the illegal immigrants have low education levels, low skills and therefore they move in the united States to make their living better. The view that the illegal immigration has got negative impact in the agricultural sector is not the case because comparing their productivity with the legal immigration then it is high.


Bean, Frank D., Barry Edmonston, and Jeffrey S. passel, (1990). Undocumented migration to the United States: IRCA and the experience of the 1980s (Washington, D.C.The urban institute press).

Hirschman, C. (2001). The educational enrollment of immigration youth: a test of the segmented- assimilation hypothesis. Demography. 38(3), pp. 317-36.

Phillips, Julie A. and Massey, D. S. (1999). The new labor market: immigrants and wages after IRCA. Demography.36 (2), pp.233-46.

Stark, Oded, and David E. Bloom. (1985). the new economics of labor migration, American economic review 75: 173-78.

Cite this paper

Select style


Premium Papers. (2022, December 28). Illegal Immigration's Impact on Agricultural History. Retrieved from


Premium Papers. (2022, December 28). Illegal Immigration's Impact on Agricultural History.

Work Cited

"Illegal Immigration's Impact on Agricultural History." Premium Papers, 28 Dec. 2022,


Premium Papers. (2022) 'Illegal Immigration's Impact on Agricultural History'. 28 December.


Premium Papers. 2022. "Illegal Immigration's Impact on Agricultural History." December 28, 2022.

1. Premium Papers. "Illegal Immigration's Impact on Agricultural History." December 28, 2022.


Premium Papers. "Illegal Immigration's Impact on Agricultural History." December 28, 2022.