Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Americas Society/Council of the Americas releases fact sheet on immigration

September 4th, 2013

Five Reasons Why Immigrants are Critical for Our Agricultural Sector

1. With agricultural employers continuously in search of more employees, immigrant workers fill the jobs that the industry desperately needs to remain competitive.

  • Seventy-one percent of crop workers surveyed between 2007 and 2009 were foreign born.1
  • In North Carolina, only seven U.S.-born workers-less than 3 percent of those hired-completed the growing season in 2011, despite an 11 percent unemployment rate in the state. Mexican workers accounted for 90 percent of workers who completed the season.2

2. A reduced agricultural labor force leads to production losses that impact not just that industry but the U.S. economy overall.

  • Expansion of the H-2A temporary agricultural worker program-as envisioned in the Senate immigration bill passed in July-could result in a 3.4 percent increase in fruit exports and a 5.4 percent increase in vegetable exports.3
  • An expansion of the H-2A program would add $6.6 billion to U.S. GDP and $3.3 billion to personal income by 2017.4
  • Without comprehensive immigration reform, a shrinking agricultural labor force will lead to $5 to $9 billion in production losses every year.5
  • In 2011, after passage of HB 87, a law that restricted immigrant job opportunities in Georgia, the state suffered an estimated $300 million loss in harvested crops and a $1 billion hit to the overall economy.6

3. Immigrant farm laborers create jobs for U.S.-born individuals in areas of the economy beyond agriculture.

  • In 2012, every three to five H-2A farm workers in North Carolina created one job for a U.S.-born worker.7
  • An expansion of the H-2A visa program under the Senate-passed immigration reform bill would add over 51,000 jobs in the United States.8

4. With a growing population, immigrant labor is vital to helping the agriculture industry produce the food required to feed Americans.

  • By 2050, 9.6 billion people will be living on our planet, with over 400 million people living in the United States, making it the fourth most populous country in the world.9 Having a fully-staffed agricultural labor force is vital for the United States to be able to produce the food it will need.
  • Immigrants will be critical to filling future labor gaps in the economy overall and in agriculture, with 76 million baby boomers retiring and only 46 million U.S.-born workers entering the workforce by 2030.10
  • A survey in California-the number one state in cash farm receipts-found that 71 percent of farmers who grow labor-intensive crops (trees, fruits, vegetables, table grapes, raisins, and berries) reported employee shortages in 2011.11 This has forced them to change crops, to start using mechanized farming (which cannot be used with fruits and vegetables that bruise easily), or to lose part of their crop.12

5. Immigrant agricultural workers help boost the population in rural areas that may be experiencing an outflow of local residents, creating a future pipeline of workers for the industry.

  • New AS/COA–Partnership for a New American Economy research finds that for every 1,000 immigrants settling in a county, 250 U.S.-born individuals follow, drawn by increased economic opportunity.13
  • The population in non-metropolitan counties as a whole declined for the first time between April 2010 and July 2012.14
  • From 2007 to 2011, there was an average of 2.1 million foreign-born individuals living in areas where agriculture is the main industry.15

This fact sheet is a product of the AS/COA Immigration and Integration Initiative, which advances the integration of immigrants and promotes positive dialogue around the economic contributions of immigrants and Latinos overall across the United States, and was produced by Leani García and AS/COA Director of Policy Jason Marczak. For more information, visit AS/COA Online at: For media inquiries or to speak with an expert on this topic, please contact Adriana La Rotta in our communications office at

[1] U.S. Department of Agriculture, "Immigration and the Rural Workforce," Economic Research Service, 2013.
[2] Michael A. Clemens, "International Harvest: A Case Study of How Foreign Workers Help American Farms Grow Crops-and the Economy," Partnership for a New American Economy and the Center for Global Development, 2013, pp.9-11.
[3] "Fixing Our Broken Immigration System: The Economic Benefits to Agriculture and Rural Communities," The Executive Office of the President, 2013, p.8.
[4] Frederick R. Treyz, Corey Stottlemyer and Rod Motamedi, "Key Components of Immigration Reform: An Analysis of the Economic Effects of Creating a Pathway to Legal Status, Expanding High-Skilled Visas, & Reforming Lesser-Skilled Visas," Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI), 2013. pp. 16-17.
[5] "AFBF Board Establishes Strategic Action Plan for 2013," American Farm Bureau Federation, 2013.
[6] Tom Baxter, "How Georgia's Anti-Immigration Law Could Hurt the State's (and the Nation's) Economy," Center for American Progress, 2011, p.2.
[7] Michael A. Clemens, "International Harvest: A Case Study of How Foreign Workers Help American Farms Grow Crops-and the Economy," Partnership for a New American Economy and the Center for Global Development, 2013, p.2.
[8] Frederick R. Treyz, Corey Stottlemyer and Rod Motamedi, "Key Components of Immigration Reform: An Analysis of the Economic Effects of Creating a Pathway to Legal Status, Expanding High-Skilled Visas, & Reforming Lesser-Skilled Visas," Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI), 2013. p.16.
[9] Department of Economic and Social Affairs "World Population Prospects the 2011 Revision: Highlights and Advance Tables," United Nations, 2013, pp. xv, 3, 62.
[10] The Partnership for a New American Economy and The Partnership for New York City, "Not Coming to America: Why the U.S. is Falling Behind in the Global Race for Talent," 2012, p.2.
[11] California Department of Food and Agriculture, "California Agricultural Production Statstics," 2012.
[12] California Farm Bureau Federation, "Walking the Tightrope: California Farmers Struggle with employee Shortages. California Farm Bureau Federation Agricultural Employment Survey Results-2012," p.2.
[13] Americas Society/Council of the Americas and Partnership for a New American Economy, "Immigrants Boost U.S. Economic Vitality through the Housing Market," 2013.
[14] United States Department of Agriculture, "Population & Migration," Economic Research Service.
[15] U.S. Department of Agriculture, "Immigration and the Rural Workforce," Economic Research Service, 2013.



Upcoming Events

Day of the Dead with the LPO: Pan American Life Fiesta Sinfonica: La Triste Historia

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The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO), in association with Pan American Life, will celebrate Day of the Dead through a multimedia concert experience entitled “La Triste Historia.” Renowned Mexican composer Juan Trigos, director Ben Young Mason, and executive producer Duncan Copp have paired Juan Trigos' evocative Symphony No. 3 with an artistic and fantastical animated film. Follow the tragic, dream-like tale of two young lovers, set against the backdrop of the Mexican Revolution, culminating in the celebration of The Day of the Dead.

Featured Musical Pieces:
Juan Trigos: Symphony No. 3
Carlos Chavez: Symphony No. 2 “Sinfonia India”
Alberto Ginastera: Four Dances from Estancia
Jose Pablo Moncayo: Huapango

For more information or to purchase tickets please visit the LPO Website.

Day of the Dead - New Orleans 2014

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Celebrate Day of the Dead across New Orleans with family activities, altars, K-12 teacher workshops, and musical performances.

K-12 Teacher Workshops and Resources

Exploring the Tradition of Day of the Dead in the Art Classroom
Tuesday October 7, 5:30 – 7:30 PM
Ogden Museum of Southern Art, 925 Camp St.
Pre-registration required: Registration Page
A Stone Center co-sponsored event


Algiers Regional Public Library
3014 Holiday Drive
A Stone Center co-sponsored event

Casa Borrega
1719 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.

Mahalia Jackson Theater
1419 Basin St.

New Orleans Healing Center
2372 St. Claude Avenue

Ogden Museum of Southern Art
925 Camp Street

Public Events

Day of the Dead Family Workshop
Saturday, October 11, 10 AM – 12 PM
Ogden Museum of Southern Art
925 Camp Street
Registration Required

Ogden After Hours
Thursday, October 30, 6 – 8 PM
Ogden Museum of Southern Art
925 Camp Street
Tickets Required

Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra presents La Triste Historia
Saturday, November 1, 7:30 PM
Mahalia Jackson Theater
419 Basin Street
Tickets Required
Pre-concert activities begin at 6 PM; the concert begins at 7:30 PM
A Stone Center co-sponsored event

2014 Day of the Dead programs across New Orleans are sponsored by the following organizations and businesses: Consulate of Mexico in New Orleans, Casa Borrega, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Pan American Life, the Foundation for Entertainment, Development, and Education, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the New Orleans Healing Center, and Tulane University’s Stone Center for Latin American Studies.

An Evening With Two Francophone-Creolophone Authors

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From 1492 when Christopher Columbus landed on Quisqueya Island, to the period 1791-1804,which marked the emergence and manifestation of self-consciousness by African bondsmen who revolted against their subjugation by the colonial empires, the Caribbean region has not only been the theater of a power struggle among European countries but also an arena where African and European languages and cultures intersect, entice, and repel each other, producing heteroglossic speech communities that have become more or less diglossic speech communities.

Modern-day Caribbean islanders, particularly those who use Creole as their native tongue and French as their lingua franca, still deal with the language issue in different spheres of social practice as well as in literature. Such linguistic heritage is a direct manifestation of colonialism.

The manner in which francophone/creolophone Caribbean writers take up the issue of language in their writings remains a topic that endures as we think about languages in that region.

It is in this context that Mr. Anderson Dovilas and Ms. Fabienne Kanor, two francophone Caribbean authors, respectively from Haiti and Martinique/France, will help us further address this question as they discuss their works produced in Haitian Creole and in French.

Born in Orléans, France, of Martinican parents, Fabienne Kanor is an award-winning writer and the author of four novels, including Les Chiens ne font pas des chats (2008) and Anticorps (2010), as well as the children's novel Le Jour où la mer a disparu (2008). She received the Fetkann Award for her novel D'Eaux Douces (2004), and and the RFO Literary Award for Humus (2006).

Anderson Dovilas was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, July 02, 1985. This young author has published in France, in the US, and in Canada. He has attended the State University of Haiti where he studied Linguistic and a minor in Ethnology. He is a Poet-activist, a cultural Journalist, a playwright, and an actor. Dovilas, has participated, collaborated, and organized several cultural events; and often organized street performances to rein-act the history of his battered country, to create social activities, to educate and entertain.


Marky Jean-Pierre
Béatrice Germaine

Sponsored by
Department of French & Italian at Tulane University
Stone Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane University
Consulate General of France in New Orleans

Downloadable Flyer for Event

Tempo Transfigurado: A talk by Graciela Speranza

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Tempo Transfigurado
by Graciela Speranza

Arturo Sotomayor: The Myth of the Democratic Peacekeeper, Lecture on November 7 at 4pm

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Please join us for a lecture by Dr. Arturo Sotomayor, assistant professor at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS). Sotomayor will present his newest book The Myth of the Democratic Peacekeeper: Civil-Military Relations and the United Nations (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013).

The Myth of the Democratic Peacekeeper reevaluates how United Nations peacekeeping missions reform (or fail to reform) their participating members. It investigates how such missions affect military organizations and civil-military relations as countries transition to a more democratic system. Sotomayor's evaluation of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay's involvement in the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti reinforces his final analysis – that successful democratic transitions must include a military organization open to change and a civilian leadership that exercises its oversight responsibilities.

Arturo Sotomayor is an assistant professor in the National Security Affairs Department at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), in Monterey, California. His areas of interest include civil-military relations in Latin America; UN Peacekeeping participation by South American countries; Latin American comparative foreign policy, and nuclear policy in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico. His publications have appeared in Security Studies, International Peacekeeping, Journal of Latin American Politics and Society, Hemisphere, Nonproliferation Review and other edited volumes. He is the author of The Myth of the Democratic Peacekeeper: Civil-Military Relations and the United Nations (Johns Hopkins Press, 2014) and co-editor of Mexico's Security Failure (Routledge, 2011). Before joining the NPS in 2009, Sotomayor taught at the Center for Economic Research and Teaching (CIDE) in Mexico City, and was a post-doctoral fellow in the Center for Inter-American Policy and Research (CIPR) at Tulane University. He received his M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in political science from Columbia University and his B.A. degree in international relations from the Technological Autonomous Institute of Mexico (ITAM).

For flyer, click here.

The Guantánamo Public Memory Project

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The Guantánamo Public Memory Project seeks to build public awareness of the long history of the US naval station at Guantánamo, Bay, Cuba, and foster dialogue on the future of this place and the policies it shapes.

Steered from Columbia University's Institute for the Study of Human Rights, the Project is being developed by a growing collaboration of universities, organizations, and individuals. It was first launched in 2009 from the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience. Support for the Project has come from National Dialogue and Traveling exhibit partners, the Libra Foundation, the New York Council on the Humanities, and the Open Society Foundations.

National Dialogue & Traveling Exhibit
The Project's first traveling exhibit opened in New York City at NYU's Kimmel Center for University Life Windows Gallery on December 13, 2012 and is traveling to 17 sites across the country and internationally through at least 2015. The exhibit explores GTMO's history from US occupation in 1898 to today's debates and visions for its future. It was created through a unique collaboration among a growing number of universities from around the country by student curators, communities, and people with first-hand experience at GTMO, who raised difficult questions and addressed them from diverse perspectives. The exhibit is accompanied by public dialogues in each host community. Join the National Dialogue.

The Guantánamo Public Memory Project in New Orleans

Exhibit in New Orleans at Tulane University with special events on campus and at the Ashé Cultural Arts Center.

September 2 – October 30, 2014

Exhibit is free and open to the public from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

6801 Freret Avenue
Jones Hall 204

Special Events:

  • September 18
    6:00 PM
    Guantánamo Post-9/11: Human Rights and Constitutional Law in Modern America
  • October 16
    6:00 PM
    Angola and Guantánamo: Art and Incarceration
  • October 30
    6:00 PM
    Guantánamo: Cuban and Haitian Refugee Stories

November 5 – November 26, 2014

1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.
(Please see website for detailed event information:

Special Events:

  • November 7
    Performance Excerpts by Kesha McKey
  • November 8
    Evening Performance with ArtSpot Productions & The Graduates
  • November 14
    The Farm: Life Inside Angola Film Screening
  • November 15
    Central City Fest

Sponsored by Tulane University’s Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute, African and African Diaspora Studies, The Murphy Institute, the Altman Program, New Orleans Center for the Gulf South, Center for Public Service, Center for Engaged Learning & Teaching, Newcomb College Institute, Honors Program, Department of History, the Stone Center for Latin American Studies, and the Joan Mitchell Foundation, The University of New Orleans’ Latin American Studies Department, CubaNOLA Arts Collective, and the Jefferson Muslim Association.

For more information about the Guantánamo Public Memory Project, please visit For more information about the main exhibit at Tulane University, please contact

For resources for K-12 teachers, click here.