- 72% of farm workers are foreign-born.
- 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.”
- In 2010, administrative challenges with the H-2A visa program led to $320 million in lost farm revenue.
- The H-2A visa program provides farmers less than 4% of the hired workers needed in agriculture.
- In 2012, labor shortages on farms led to $3.3 billion in missed GDP growth and $1.3 billion in lost farm income.
- 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%.
- Labor shortages are responsible for 27% of the recent domestic market share decline experienced by US growers.
- More than 80,000 acres of fresh produce that used to be grown in California have been moved to other countries.
- 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%.
- Food prices would increase 5-6% for consumers if Congress passes enforcement-only immigration reform.
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…
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