United States Agriculture and the Effects of Increased Enforcement of Immigration Laws
American agriculture industry relies heavily on the labor of migrant workers,
both documented and undocumented. Especially under the Trump Administration, America
saw an increased enforcement of, and amendments made to the “Illegal Immigration
Reform and immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996,” as well as the introduction
of the “Build the Wall, Enforce the Law Act of 2018.” The culmination of these
measures as part of an agenda to secure the Southern Border between the U.S.
and Mexico has resulted in a steep decline in immigration from Mexico to the
U.S. and an increase in deportation of illegal immigrants. The agriculture
industry has been and will continue to be the first to suffer the effects of
this agenda. America relies so heavily on migrant workers, especially within
the food production sector of agriculture, yet the process for Naturalization
(or obtaining legal citizenship) is difficult, costly, and time intensive. As a
country, we must work improve the system to allow easier access for migrant
workers to obtain legal citizenship in a country that they have labored for and
have recently been deemed essential for.