More Mexican immigrants were leaving the U.S. than entering even in 2015, when the Obama administration was already deporting more undocumented immigrants than any previous president. Trump’s deportation surge is only doubling down on this approach.
This is bleak news for America’s farms, many of whom rely on migrant workers to harvest their fruits and vegetables. In many instances, whole fields have been left to rot due to lack of available labor.
“It’s absolutely been detrimental to the agricultural community,” said Claire Wineman of the Grower-Shipper association of Santa Barbara/San Luis Obispo County. “To be able to continue to grow and harvest the fruits and vegetables, it made it difficult to have day-to-day certainty.”
In California, where 9 out of 10 farm workers are immigrants, two counties lost over $13 million.
The Trump administration plans to take their fight against immigrants to an even more extreme level in the coming days, proposing a new policy that is expected to cut legal immigration in half.