The New York Times has a couple interesting articles recently (with recently being broadly defined) highlighting the close connection between immigration and agriculture.
In August, Lisa W. Foderaro highlighted the possible shortage of immigrant apple pickers in New York. Her article discussed the Bush administration efforts to crack down on employers of illegal immigrants. Ms. Foderaro reports that up to 70% of farm workers are illegal immigrants.
Today, Steven Greenhouse reported, also in the Times, on the fallout after last November's immigration raid on Smithfield Food's slaughterhouse in Tar Heel, North Carolina. The article raises a host of complicated and complementary issues -- including race relations, union organizing, and the plain hard work of slaughtering animals.
These articles --especially the Greenhouse piece -- highlight the human cost of our current state of food production.