Immigrants form a very important part of Florida’s population and culture. They represent a third of the total workforce in the region and mostly work in the construction industry, the agriculture sector and other informal sectors (Eisenhauer, 5). Many of these immigrants do not possess legal documents and work permits making them vulnerable to exploitation. For many years they have complained of harassment and exploitation, but cannot air their grievances through the legal system for fear of repatriation. This makes their complaint irrelevant and ineffective. For many years the workers have been denied the chance to form labor unions that fight for their rights. As a result, they have remained one of the most exploited and poorest workers in the US.
Lack of proper legislation that governs the registration of immigrants has contributed to an increase in exploitation and harassment. There have been cases of theft of wages where workers, especially in the agriculture sector go without pay and cannot do anything as they are denied access to proper legal services. The extreme poverty that characterizes most immigrants, coupled by the fear of going back home creates a culture the oppressed and failed pursuit of the American dream. These workers consist of Cubans, Mexicans as well as those from the Caribbean. Although they escape poverty in their own countries, these immigrants face a difficult working condition where the Native Americans have more opportunities. The issue sometimes takes the racial context where motions seeking to protect the rights of immigrant workers are shot down by some Native leaders. It is important to note that people from all cultural backgrounds contribute differently to the economy of Florida and immigrants are more of a benefit than a cost to the state.
Eisenhauer, Emily. Et al. Immigrants In Florida: Characteristics and Contributions. Research Institute on Social and Economic Policy, Florida International University. 2007. Retrieved from http://www.risep-fiu.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/immigrants_spring_2007_reduced.pdf
Southern Poverty Law Centre. Migrant Tomato Workers Face Chronic Abuses. 2008. Retrieved from http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/news/migrant-tomato-workers-face-chronic-abuses