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WASHINGTON Update

Tom Cosgrove Senior Vice President for Public Affairs

Uncertainty about Agricultural Labor as Legislation is Introduced The new Administration’s statements on immigration policy have led to a mix of optimism and concern among producers who employ immigrant workers. President Trump has continued the strong rhetoric from the presidential campaign regarding illegal immigration. His 2018 budget requests funding for a border wall and increased staffing for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and border patrol agents, making it one of the only federal agencies with proposed increases in staffing. Statements by the president and new

working toward a permanent solu-

would not be unduly harmed by im-

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue

tion to the agricultural labor issue.

migration enforcement efforts.

On April 25, the day Secretary Per-

This position was underscored in

due was sworn in, the White House

a subsequent interview with The

hosted a meeting with 14 producers,

Economist, where the president

at which the president assured the

said, “We also want farm workers

group they would have access to

to be able to come in. You know,

foreign-born workers and that farms

we’re going to have work visas for

regarding foreign-born agricultural workers, however, have taken on a more conciliatory tone. Producers are waiting to find out if the administration’s accommodating statements will take precedence when it comes to enforcement on farms and

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