Donald Trump, usually praised for his vocal stance on immigration, may lose the farmer vote as his immigration comments fell under fire on Friday on the U.S. Immigration webpage.
Previously calling undocumented immigrant workers “rapists and murderers,” Trump wants to deport all undocumented workers and to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Firm in his belief, Trump risks losing a farmers who depend on the nearly 1.4 million undocumented immigrant workers which is 60% of the ag labor force, said The National Council of Farm Co-Operatives president and former deputy agriculture secretary during the George W. Bush administration, Chuck Conner.
Removing the immigrant work force leaves farmers “screaming” for workers in a field that Americans refuse to enter, Carlos Castañeda, a California farm labor contractor, said. Most Americans refuse to do the back-breaking, labor intensive jobs that undocumented workers dedicate themselves to.
The American Farm Bureau Federation released a 2014 survey revealing that:
If Congress passed an enforcement-only immigration bill, fruit production within the United States would fall by as much as 61%, the average farm income would fall by as much as 30% and the price of fruit in supermarkets would increase by 6% ‒ all due to a lack of labor.
Removing the workforce, even if the majority of that workforce is undocumented, would affect all aspects of the agriculture market and ripple out to other areas. Many farms would not be able to sustain their production rates and risk shutting down completely if their immigrant workers were removed causing a drop in United States grown fruits and vegetables and a rise in produce and meat prices.
Even as Trump bashes the undocumented workers, many farmers stand with their workers rather than Trump and lobby for temporary documents for their seasonal workers because the immigrants will do labor that even unemployed Americans refuse.
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