Trump says farmers won’t be impacted by immigration ban
President Trump says he will sign an executive order temporarily prohibiting immigration but has promised farmers won’t be impacted. The order will still allow the government to continue processing visas for temporary employees, including farm workers.
The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives sent a letter to Secretary Perdue on Tuesday urging administration to exempt H-2A workers from any immigration executive order.
President and CEO Chuck Conner says the agriculture industry depends on foreign labor to care for livestock and harvest many crops.
“This is our point to Secretary Perdue and to the Trump Administration, whatever you do on the immigration front, don’t do something that disrupts our ability, particularly through these crisis times, to feed ourselves and feed ourselves well,” he says.
Conner says he’s hopeful that the State Department will continue to ensure minimal disruption in processing H-2A applications because workers are scheduled to arrive in the US in the coming weeks.
“It’s our strong hope that it’s not their intention to do anything to disrupt our access to these H-2A workers because that would be counter to everything they’ve done in the last several weeks to help us,” he says.
He says the impacts of restricting H-2A workers from the country would be felt beyond the farm gate.
Audio: Chuck Conner