Michigan’s agriculture industry says it wants a voice in any renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Farmers say they’re also anxious about President Trump making changes to immigration laws, which could impact the industry’s migrant work force. According to 2014 report commissioned by the American Farm Bureau Federation, about half of all hired farm workers are undocumented immigrants. If the migrant workers are fearful of President Trumps approach to immigration enforcement, it could make it difficult for Michigan farmers to find enough workers for the spring and summer seasons.
“Frankly these are jobs that American workers don’t want. I’m not certain that Americans could afford food if we had to pay $20-25/hr. to get people that would actually work. Those migrants, be they either documented or undocumented, really do provide a service to our country and are very skilled”
Jamie Clover Adams is the Director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. She tells WDET’s Amy Miller changes to NAFTA could benefit Michigan farmers depending on how President Trump handles the negotiations.
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