Rural America Voted for Trump… but Relies on Illegal Immigrant Labor: Now What?
President-elect Donald Trump won the popular vote in more than 90 percent of rural communities, according to exit polls. But even though Trump seems to be softening his tough immigration policies as per a recent 60 Minutes interview, farm owners are worried.They rely on immigration workers and, even though they voted for Trump, a mass exodus of illegal workers could be detrimental to rural America, according to Modern Farmer.
Other aspects of Trump’s campaign promises don’t bode well for farmers either: Abandoning the Trans Pacific Partnership could close doors to crucial trade deals to China and other Asian countries. However, although Modern Farmer and the American Farm Bureau are engaging in worried handwringing, the effect of Trump’s policies may not be as disastrous as believed. As a Mother Jones Op-Ed pointed out, if the United States “ditches the TPP, farm employment will lose a benefit of 0.031 percent per year.”
And as for migrant workers? The deportation crisis is worrisome in this country for multiple industries. Organizations like The United Farm Workers, a Latino agricultural union based in California, are advocating on behalf of immigrant workers to further soften Trump’s immigration plan.