《经济学人》:农业和移民政策,一项艰难的工作
日期:2011-06-23 10:59

(单词翻译:单击)

Agriculture and immigration policy
农业和移民政策

A hard row to hoe
一项艰难的工作

Georgia’s immigration bill will hit farmers where it hurts
乔治亚州移民法案让农场主旧伤未愈,又添新伤。

Jun 16th 2011 | ATLANTA | from the print edition

The war on onions 洋葱之战

ATLANTA may sprawl, but drive a little way south or east and head off the main highways, and you will see that what really powers Georgia is not its biggest city, but its farms. Agriculture is the state’s biggest industry, employing 13% of the state workforce, and generating $11 billion a year at the farm level and $69 billion overall. In 2008 Georgia produced more broiler chickens, peanuts, pecans, rye and spring-harvested onions than any other state.

亚特兰大可能扩张,不过是偏向南方或东方,并阻碍了主要的高速公路,并且你会发现真正主宰乔治亚州的不是这座最大的城市,而是她的农场。农业是乔治亚州最大的产业,雇佣了州内13%的劳动力,农场年产值达110亿美元,农业年产值达690亿美元。2008年,乔治亚洲所生产的肉鸡、花生、核桃、黑麦以及春季丰收的洋葱超过了其他任何一个州。

Most of those onions were Vidalias—a sweet variety grown in the sandy, low-sulphur soil of south Georgia, and protected by federal trademark. And most Vidalias are harvested by hand, by workers such as Edilberto, who came north from Mexico to work in the fields. He has picked onions and other crops in south Georgia for 16 years. His three children were born here. And this summer he plans to leave Georgia to look for work in North Carolina. He will not be alone.

大多数都是Vidalias洋葱——一种味道甜美的洋葱品种,种植于乔治亚州以南,低硫沙地土壤,受联邦政府商标的保护。大多数Vidalias洋葱都由工人人工收种,埃迪尔韦托就是其中一员,他从墨西哥来到北部这片土地上工作,在乔治亚州南部收种洋葱和其他庄稼长达16年。他的三个孩子都在这里出生。今年夏天他打算离开乔治亚州,到北卡罗来纳州寻找工作。像他这样的还大有人在。

On July 1st Georgia’s new immigration law is scheduled to take effect. It empowers police to check the immigration status of criminal suspects. It requires employers with ten or more employees to check the immigration status of newly hired workers on a federal database (employers must currently verify that applicants possess the right documents; they do not have to verify the documents’ authenticity). Applicants for public benefits must provide “a secure and verifiable document” of identification and must swear that they are in the country legally.

7月1日,乔治亚州的新移民法预计生效。它授权警察检查犯罪嫌疑人的在留资格,要求雇佣工人人数超过10人的雇主,在联邦政府数据库里检查新进工人的入境身份(雇主必须当即核实申请人拥有正确的文件;他们不一定核实文件的真实性)。公共福利的申请人必须提供一份“安全、已认证文件”的身份证明,必须宣誓,誓言他们在美国是合法的。

Critics say the bill is unconstitutional, and indeed a federal judge will hear those charges on June 20th and may stop the law from taking effect. A federal judge blocked parts of Arizona’s anti-immigration law, which Georgia’s measure echoes, last year. But Matt Ramsey, one of the bill’s sponsors in Georgia’s legislature, maintains that “there is nothing in this bill that anyone here legally has to worry about.”

评论人士说,移民法违背了宪法精神,的确,一名联邦政府法官将于6月20日听取这些指控,由此可能阻止移民法生效。去年,一名联邦政府法官,阻止了亚利桑那州反移民法的部分条款生效,而乔治亚州的条款正好与之相似。但是,乔治亚州立法机关内,移民法的倡导者之一,马特•拉姆齐认为,“人们不用担心法案中的任何条款,只要他在这里是合法的”。

He may or may not be right, but as far as the state’s agriculture sector goes, it may not matter. Precise figures are hard to come by, but according to Erik Nicholson, national vice-president for the United Farm Workers’ union, as many as 70% of American agricultural workers may be undocumented. According to the Pew Hispanic Centre, in 2010 Georgia had around 425,000 such immigrants, putting it seventh among American states.

他可能是对的,也可能不对,但就州内农业部的发展而言,这可能无关紧要。很难得出精确的数据,但根据负责联合农场工会的美国副总统,埃里克•尼克尔森,美国多达70%农业工作者无认证文件。

It may now have fewer: 46% of respondents to a recent survey conducted by the Georgia Agribusiness Council said they had too few workers. Some reported that workers had left or were planning to leave for other states by July 1st. And though that may be welcome news for politicians such as Mr Ramsey, it could portend disaster for farmers. According to Charles Hall, director of Georgia’s Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association, harvest crews during the busy months of May and June had between half and two-thirds as many the workers they had last year. Migrant-worker crews follow the harvest north from Florida; this year many seem to be skipping Georgia. He estimates that the state’s $1.1-billion fruit-and-vegetable industry could suffer a $300m loss.

现在农业工作者就更少了:乔治亚州农业综合企业委员会做了一次调查,46%的调查对象说他们的工人太少。有些人报道说,工人已经离开,或者打算在7月1日前离开乔治亚州到其他州去。尽管这对于拉姆齐这些政治家而言是好消息,但对农场主却预示着灾难。根据乔治亚州果蔬种植者协会会长查尔斯•霍尔所言,五六月这两个忙碌的季节里,一起参与收割的工人只相当于去年同期的一半到三分之二。移民工人潮从北部的佛罗里达州开始,随收割地而迁移;看来今年很多人会跳过乔治亚州。他估计乔治亚州11亿美元的果蔬产业,可能遭受3亿美元的损失。

Nathan Deal, Georgia’s governor, who signed the immigration bill into law, came up with a novel solution on Tuesday: give the jobs—of which there are around 11,000, according to farmers who responded to a survey by Georgia’s agriculture department—to unemployed probationers. How that will work in practice remains unclear. Nobody can force farmers to hire felons. And people on probation must seek work but can decline job offers, such as those requiring hard physical labour in the sweltering midsummer. As for the departing workers, Bryan Tolar, who heads the Georgia Agribusiness Council, says, “I don’t know if they were legal. All I know is they were working.”

签署移民法案的乔治亚州州长,南森•迪尔鄂,周二想出了一个新颖的解决方案:把这些工作交给失业的缓刑犯,根据响应乔治亚州农业部一项调查的农场主,大约有一万一千个工作岗位。这种方法实际如何操作尚不清楚。没人能强迫农场主雇佣重罪犯。缓刑人员虽必须找工作,却也可以拒绝某些工作机会,比如这些需要在炎炎仲夏做重体力活的工作。至于那些即将离开的工人,乔治亚州农业综合委员会负责人,布莱恩•托拉尔称,“我不知道他们是否合法,我只知道他们以前在这里工作。”

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重点单词
  • varietyn. 多样,种类,杂耍
  • hoen. 锄头 v. 锄地,铲除
  • trademarkn. 商标
  • disastern. 灾难
  • rown. 排,船游,吵闹 vt. 划船,成排 vi. 划船,
  • associationn. 联合,结合,交往,协会,社团,联想
  • declinen. 衰微,跌落; 晚年 v. 降低,婉谢
  • preciseadj. 精确的,准确的,严格的,恰好的
  • unclearadj. 不清楚的;不易了解的
  • verifiableadj. 可证实的;能作证的;可检验的