America's Voice En Español »
Last week, Democratic Senators Feinstein (CA), Leahy (VT), Bennet (CO), Hirono (HI), and Harris (CA) introduced the Agricultural Worker Program Act, a new piece of legislation designed to protect farm workers from deportation and put them on a path to citizenship. It’s an important proposal for immigrant laborers who do essential work for the American economy, pay taxes, and raise families — while being threatened by Trump’s mass deportation policies.
In the past, state-based anti-immigrant efforts like Alabama’s HB 56 have threatened immigrants and farm workers, causing them to flee their homes and live in fear of deportation and detention. They’ve also caused economic harm to businesses and industries which could no longer find immigrant workers — in Alabama, American farms closed and state agricultural output decreased. This threat is now happening on a national scale, thanks to Trump’s deportation force. Farm workers who put food on the table for Americans deserve better — and more protections for farm workers would be good for the agricultural industry, too.
Up to 70% of all farm workers in the US are thought to be undocumented immigrants, while over half of US dairy workers are. If the agricultural industry stopped having access to immigrant labor, agricultural output would decrease by as much as $60 billion, with the dairy industry losing another $32 billion, which would lead to economic chaos. Without undocumented immigrant workers, dairy farms estimate that milk would cost $8/gallon while strawberries would cost $15/pound.
We’ve collected a series of recent quotes from farmers speaking about why immigrant farm workers are so important, how much farm workers contribute to the individual farms they work at in addition to the US economy, why policies attacking immigrants are bad for US businesses, how much food prices would go up without undocumented immigrants, and why the idea that immigrants are taking American jobs is a myth. You can read the quotes from farmers speaking about immigrants here.
What’s included in our sheet on quotes from farmers: