Central Valley, California - There are an estimated 11 million immigrants living in the United States illegally and roughly one million of them are farm workers. But are they taking our jobs or keeping us from starvation?
The claim that they're coming to America and taking jobs from American men and women is fake, the President of United Farm Workers, Arturo Rodriguez, told Charlie LeDuff.
"You know what? That's a myth, Charlie. That really is a myth because the reality today is that nobody wants to work in Agriculture any longer; it's not an American job any longer," Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez said three years ago, they invited people out to come take their jobs. The campaign was aptly titled "Take our jobs." Here's a taste of what Rodriguez said they received in response:
"People were calling us up asking, 'well, is there a limousine that will come pick me up for work?' 'Is there air conditioning in the fields?'"
Hundreds of thousands responded. 11 went to work in the field. None stayed more than a few days.
How hard is it? Charlie went to work with about 2,000 undocumented workers in a grape field in California's Central Valley where agriculture brings in $50 billion a year.
"It's kinda hot," Charlie said. "Hoping maybe we could do some work in the shade maybe. Pick the grapes off the ground. Maybe wait until they turn into raisins, that seems like it'd be easier."
15 minutes later, Charlie was asking for water.
It pays $9 an hour. For the hungry or unemployed, it could be an option. But the job isn't easy. Laws regarding overtime, minimum wage, and workers compensation often do not apply.