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The largest agriculture pro-outsourcing organization says President Donald Trump has “assured” them that the current flow of foreign workers in the farming industry will continue unreformed.
American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall told Reuters most recently that Trump promised to keep the H-2A foreign guest worker visa program, which gives hundreds of thousands of low-skill farm jobs to foreigners intact.
“He assured us we would have plenty of access to workers,” Duvall said.
Meanwhile, the White House said the meeting with Duvall and other pro-outsourcing farm organizations was “very productive.”
Center for Immigration Studies Fellow David North told Breitbart Texas he was “disappointed” with the Trump Administration’s apparent willingness to continue giving the farm industry as many cheaper, foreign workers they want through the H-2A visa.
North is pessimistic about the administration’s future on foreign guest worker programs.
“Unfortunately, we are probably going to be in a situation where the non-immigrant, low-skilled worker programs are going to be expanded,” North said. “It certainly sounds like [Trump’s] not sympathetic to the American guys at the bottom of the labor force who are hurt by this.”
The American Farm Bureau Federation has seemingly close ties to the Trump Administration’s Agriculture Department. At the beginning of May, former registered lobbyist Kristi Boswell with the pro-outsourcing organization began serving as the Senior Advisor to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.
North said there is “absolutely” a correlation to the Trump Administration’s apparent cozying up to the American Farm Bureau Federation and Boswell’s appointment.
“That is probably what she’s there for,” North told Breitbart Texas. “I assume from her background, that this would be the kind of thing that she hoped she could arrange.”
The American Farm Bureau Federation is certainly at odds with pro-American advocates in the administration, as the group regularly touts a “labor shortage” for seasonal, low-skilled jobs, despite no evidence supporting that claim.
In a recent report by Breitbart Texas, American unemployment rolls and stagnant, often decreased, wages for low-skilled workers in the U.S. indicate there is no such labor shortage, according to experts.
“Despite such claims from industry groups—other than employer anecdotes—no credible data or labor market metrics have been presented by non-employer-affiliated groups or organizations—let alone by disinterested academics—proving the existence of labor shortages in H-2B occupations that could justify a large expansion of the H-2B program,” the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) wrote in a recent analysis report.
There are 1.37 million “missing workers” in the American labor force between the ages of 45 and 74-years-old. These individuals are not included in the monthly unemployment rate, but if they were, the unemployment rate would be 5.3 percent, according to EPI.
John Binder is a contributor for Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.