Recent government raids targeting undocumented immigrants in the U.S. are causing distress through the agriculture labor sector.
Agriculture is heavily dependent on foreign workers and recent arrests made in at least six states over the past week has left undocumented workers afraid to travel and farmers pondering whether they can risk hiring the workers, according to report by Bloomberg News.
The American Farm Bureau Federation says more than half of U.S. farm workers are undocumented, and farmers are already coping with a decreasing labor supply in the Western U.S. due to increased border security.
An executive order by President Donald Trump sparked the raids and could have the potential to strip farms and meat-processing plants of labor.
The immigration crackdown may also mean rising grocery costs for consumers. A recent Farm Bureau study shows enforcement-only immigration policy without reforms that benefit farm labor could increase food prices by as much as six percent.