SO MANY parts of the nation’s immigration system are rusting, clanking or broken that the situation affords an opportunity for reformers in the Senate: Devise a legislative fix for practically everything and, in the process, forge a broad coalition for a sweeping overhaul that includes legalizing 11 million unauthorized immigrants.
The absurdly dysfunctional agricultural sector is a prime example. Up to two-thirds of the workforce tending to crops and livestock — at least 1 million current workers — are undocumented, up from a third in the mid-1990s. Many are relatively skilled, most have been in the country for a decade or more, and some have moved up to jobs in middle management. Despite their central role in providing the country’s food, they remain subject to harassment, raids and deportation.