The MexicoBlog of the Americas Program, a fiscally sponsored program of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), is written by Laura Carlsen. I monitor and analyze international press on Mexico, with a focus on security, immigration, human rights and social movements for peace and justice, from a feminist perspective. And sometimes I simply muse.
Jun 22, 2017
‘I Need More Mexicans’: A Kansas Farmer’s Message to Trum
Growers and dairies lobby for a path to legalization for the undocumented workers who power their businesses.
By Michelle Jamrisko
Undocumented immigrants make up about half the workforce in U.S. agriculture, according to various estimates. But that pool of labor is shrinking, which could spell trouble for farms, feedlots, dairies, and meatpacking plants—particularly in a state such as Kansas, where unemployment in many counties is barely half the already tight national rate. “Two weeks ago, my boss told me, ‘I need more Mexicans like you,’” says a 25-year-old immigrant employed at a farm in the southwest part of the state, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he’s trying to get his paperwork in order. “I said, ‘Well, they’re kind of hard to find.’”