CNN: Dairy Farmers Criticize Trump's Immigration Policy

March 2, 2016 06:00 AM

Dairy farmers say they’re fed up with the posturing of presidential candidates who don’t understand the importance of immigrant labor to milk producers.

That’s according to "Donald Trump's Immigration Plan Could Affect the Nation's Milk Supply," a CNN piece published March 1, or Super Tuesday, when voters in 13 states and 1 American territory head to the polls for presidential primaries. 

Here is an excerpt:

Building a wall on the border with Mexico and deporting all undocumented immigrants has become an applause line at Donald Trump's rallies and the main policy idea for the GOP front-runner.

But Trump's promise has sparked fear and frustration among farmers around the country, who, like it or not, depend on immigrant labor.

"I'm angry," says dairy farmer Mike McMahon, who owns 700 cows in upstate New York, which is now the third-largest dairy producing state and the biggest producer of greek yogurt in the country.

"For someone like Trump or Cruz to say they are going to send them all back is short-sighted because so much of our food supply is dependent on their labor," he said.

According to the National Milk Producers Federation, 41% of dairy farm workers are immigrants. Overall, there are about 2.5 million farm workers in the U.S, and anywhere from half to more than two-thirds of them are undocumented, according to experts.

Dairy farmers, who are unable to take advantage of seasonal work visas for their laborers, said the situation needs to change—but that building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico is not the answer.

"You take the Hispanic workforce away from agriculture, the price of food will go sky-high and you'll be looking at empty shelves," McMahon told CNN. "Good luck at the ice cream stand."

Click here to watch the CNN segment and read the story.


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Spell Check

Chapel Hill, TN
3/2/2016 06:23 AM

  Hire a immigrant worker and milk more cows that what has put out the small dairies.

prattsburgh, NY
3/6/2016 08:23 PM

  these comments are idiotic at best. we are a 4 family dairy farm milking 1500 cows if we could hire locals we would but one big problem no matter what the wage is they simply will not show up for work. their are numerous 100 cow dairies all over this country utilizing this labor!

common sense
Bristol, SD
3/3/2016 08:35 PM

  If big dairies are against Trumps immigration plan, he is obviously RIGHT ON! Unlike the Damn Fool Governor we have in South Dakota!


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