Roughly 50 percent of hired crop farmworkers are not legally authorized to work in the U.S., while those with work authorization sits around 19 percent, according to the USDA.
On Thursday, Sam Clovis, Donald Trump’s Agriculture Advisor, spoke on AgriTalk about several issues, immigration and its relation to farmers and ranchers was a key point.
Immigration reform is one of the centerpieces in the campaign, and it was how the campaign started.
“We hope that will carry us to victory,” said Clovis.
Listen to Clovis on immigration below:
If elected, Clovis said Trump will talk to farmers and ranchers to make sure immigration reform won’t “adversely affect” them. They don’t want to “cripple any industry,” especially agriculture.
"We want the best possible process in place with farmers and ranchers," said Clovis.
According to Clovis, there won't be any exceptions to immigration reform. He says if there's an exception in ag, there will be exceptions in other areas such as the tech industry in Silicon Valley and the hotel industry. That would lead to a sort of blanket amnesty which the administration does not want.
"People will have to be legal to work in this country," said Clovis.
He also mentioned the “great program” for immigration in the 40s and 50s and how the campaign would like to bring that back since it worked well, according to Clovis.
Clovis stressed that if Trump becomes president, they won’t “round everyone up” on his first day in office, saying immigration reform will take time and they need a plan in place.
Listen to Clovis's full appearance on AgriTalk below: