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immigrant wine workersIn the middle of one of the darkest eras in American history, let this Labor Day be a celebration of immigrant labor. Without immigrant labor there would be no wine industry or food industry as we know it.

Immigrants have been the backbone of our economy since the beginning. The colonists were immigrants and refugees. Chinese immigrants built the railway system. German and Irish immigrants built the modern infrastructure of our cities. The early days of the auto and garment industries, all driven by immigrant labor. Today, immigrants from South America and Asia fill low-wage positions in the service economy.

Studies have shown that immigrants are more likely than non-immigrants to start a business and in many small towns and cities across the county the demand for goods and services from immigrant communities keeps their economies afloat. And only the continual influx of young immigrant labor will keep social security and Medicare solvent in the years ahead.

In the face of the savagery and cruelty visited upon immigrant families by the neo-fascists, it is immigrant labor in particular that needs our compassion and support.