Is the debate about giving citizenships to millions of illegal immigrants becoming irrelevant as technology begins to replace the need for today’s human labor required in planting and picking field crops?
One argument for legalizing the migrants that have crossed the U.S.-Mexican border unlawfully is that they are needed to plant and pick the crops that it is said Americans will not do. That may become moot as engineers begin testing a machine that uses laptop computer software and a robot to thin a field of lettuce. It replaces 20 field workers with one person.
This “Lettuce Bot” and others similar to it are being designed to do what has previously provided work for unskilled illegal immigrants in planting and picking crops such as lettuce and strawberries.
According to California Political News & Views researchers are designing robots for even the most delicate crops by integrating such modern advancements such as advanced sensors, powerful computing, electronics, computer vision, robotic hardware and algorithms.
The “Lettuce Bot” is one example of what the robots can perform. For example it uses a video camera and visual recognition software that identifies which plants to eliminate and then squirts it with a concentrated fertilizer that kills the unwanted buds while enriching the soil.
Although the robots will be costly when purchased growers will eliminate the need for them to find workers (usually illegal aliens that means breaking the law), eventually saving them money as dozens of workers are replaced by a single operator of the electronic robot as well as eliminating costs to the community of welfare, healthcare and education for the illegals.
For a century fruits and vegetables have been planted, thinned and harvested by an army of migrant workers, the machines could prove revolutionary. Farmers say farm robots could provide relief from recent labor shortages, lessen the unknowns of immigration reform, reduce costs, increase quality and yield a more consistent product.
As the robots begin taking over the use of the human hands of illegal immigrants that now plant and pick crops, what will happen when there is no longer a use for their labor if they have been given citizenship rights that allows them to remain in the country and collect welfare?