10 Reasons Farmers Won’t Be Able to Feed You without Immigration Reform

  1. 72% of farm workers are foreign-born.
  2. According to a 2010 survey, 47% of agricultural employers are not satisfied with the H-2A visa program, the only visa program in the US designed to bring in temporary agricultural workers, and 42% will not use it because it is “too administratively burdensome or costly.”
  3. In 2010, administrative challenges with the H-2A visa program led to $320 million in lost farm revenue.
  4. The H-2A visa program provides farmers less than 4% of the hired workers needed in agriculture.
  5. In 2012, labor shortages on farms led to $3.3 billion in missed GDP growth and $1.3 billion in lost farm income.
  6. Between the 1998-2000 period and the 2010-2012 one, the share of fresh produce consumed by American families that was imported grew by 79.3%.
  7. Labor shortages are responsible for 27% of the recent domestic market share decline experienced by US growers.
  8. More than 80,000 acres of fresh produce that used to be grown in California have been moved to other countries.
  9. Without immigrant labor, the number of dairy farms would drop by 4,532, reducing milk production by 29.5 billion pounds and raising retail milk prices by an estimated 61%.
  10. Food prices would increase 5-6% for consumers if Congress passes enforcement-only immigration reform.

About NAE

New American Economy is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization fighting for smart federal, state, and local immigration policies that help grow our economy and create jobs for all Americans. More…