Back during the campaign Trump talked about building a wall along the US-Mexico border to control the flow of illegal immigrants. Now it appears that Trump’s Agriculture Secretary, Sonny Perdue, has reached the conclusion that illegal immigrants, at least some, are needed after all–to work as farm laborers.
“He (the president) understands that there are long-term immigrants, sometimes undocumented immigrant laborers, out here on the farms, many of them that are doing a great job, contributing to the economy of the United States,” Perdue said.
“That (deporting undocumented immigrants) is not his focus nor will that be my focus,” he added.
According to the report, Trump met with farmers last week and heard all about the “challenges they face keeping laborers for dairies or field work”–and Perdue says he’s hired a labor lawyer to design a program by which undocumented immigrants could be allowed in in sufficient numbers to fulfill the needs of the ag industry.
But of course once that need is filled, then others, the tourist industry for instance, will step forward with similar needs–large hotel chains will insist, for instance, that they need illegal immigrants to work as dishwashers and maids, etc., until eventually every campaign promise Trump made about stemming the tide of immigrants will be tossed into the trash can. Or at least that’s the way things seem to be headed now.
The writer of the piece acknowledges that the latest developments are “a turnaround for both Perdue and Trump,” and then goes on to add:
Many of the most powerful agriculture industry groups have pushed Washington to complete comprehensive reform to the immigration system that would allow for more legal foreign farmworkers. More than 70 percent of farm workers are foreign-born and half of those are in the U.S. illegally, according to the USDA.
More recently, Trump told a private meeting with TV anchors that he would consider immigration reform that would provide a legal pathway for people in the U.S. illegally. He has not made similar remarks publically since taking office.
Perdue said during his Senate confirmation hearings that he supported making it easier for dairy farmers to employ immigrants. Yet in 2006 as governor of Georgia, he instituted a major crackdown on illegal immigration, which resulted in a crisis for farmers who couldn’t find labor.
Certainly the ag industry has cause to celebrate, but it would appear others are elated as well:
Daniel M. Kowalski, an attorney and editor of Bender’s Immigration Bulletin, said he’s surprised and pleased with the news.
“This new benefit for ag workers could be an entering wedge of reform, opening up relief for DACA (“Dreamer”) kids, their parents, refugees, and more,” Kowalski says. “It will take sustained pressure from families and small businesses to convince Trump and Congress that immigrants are a benefit, not a burden.”
I do not know whether Mr. Kowalski is Jewish, but as I have noted in previous posts, Jews are some of the leading proponents for increased immigration to the US.