A bill endorsed by President Donald Trump that would change the U.S. immigration system may harm farm labor. The bill by Republican Senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia would reduce the number of legal immigrants coming into the United States and emphasize highly educated immigrants over what is regarded as the low-skilled laborers, which could be interpreted to mean those in agriculture, according to the Hagstrom Report. The Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy, Or RAISE Act, does not target the H2A program, which brings in temporary workers, but the bill would have implications for illegal immigrants who may try to qualify for permanent residency and for the prospect of bringing in workers in the livestock and dairy industries, which need year-round workers. The bill seems likely to meet opposition from Democrats and some Republicans in the Senate, but could start the immigration debate and lead to some method of reform.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.