According to December LANDTHINK Pulse results, a surprising 38.63% of respondents believe that President Obama’s immigration executive order will have a VERY NEGATIVE EFFECT on American farms. The U.S. Department of Labor, indicates that over half (53%) of farm laborers are undocumented immigrants. In recent years, farm operators have reported a rapidly shrinking labor pool, which has been contributed to several factors including tougher border control. Our audience, like many others familiar with the industry, likely think the executive order, which will block the deportation of nearly 5 million people, will further intensify diminishing farm labor and potentially drive agricultural production outside the United States. Many farmers and ranchers harbor fear and outrage over excessive regulation by the Federal government and the threat it poses to the future viability of the industry.
Last month, the December Pulse asked: The President announced an executive order that will change the way undocumented immigrants work in the U.S. In your opinion, how will this affect American farms?
Immigration policy has been a hot button political issue, long before President Obama’s immigration actions. The majority of our LANDTHINK audience obviously do not support the President’s initiative on immigration, neither do many of the House Republicans, who have denounced it, deeming it unconstitutional. Our informal online survey revealed that 38.63% of those responding said the President’s executive action on immigration would have a very negative effect on U.S. farms. This was followed by 18.41% of our audience that thought there would be NO CHANGE to American farms due to the President’s actions. A scant 13% thought it would have a positive effect. Most farm operators are concerned farm workers will trade the uncertainty of their seasonal jobs for yearly jobs that produce a steady paycheck- even though it often means a lower hourly wage. Additionally, it could cause a competition for farm laborers and drive up the wages. The agricultural industry is being advised to brace for what’s coming down the road due to the immigration executive action. When it goes into effect this year, it will protect parents of green card holders and citizens of the U.S., as well as expand the 2012 “Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals” program, which shielded from deportation those brought into the U.S illegally as children.
Here are the final results:
- 38.63% said Very Negative Affect
- 18.41% said No Change
- 16.97% said Somewhat Negative Affect
- 13% said Somewhat Positive Affect
- 13% said Very Positive Affect
Thank you to everyone who participated and shared the Pulse with friends and connections in the land industry.
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