Trump’s Immigration Crackdown is Going to Crush the Economy—And One Sector in Particular

President Trump appears to have backed off of his plans to force funding for his Mexican border wall into the current budget but he’s still seeking $314 million to add hundreds more Border Patrol agents and Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.

Creating a deportation force of this magnitude could cost our economy $5 trillion over a 10-year period, according to a study by Queens College professor, Francesc Ortega.

The study assumes our labor force includes 7 million undocumented workers who account for 3 percent of our GDP; deporting millions of undocumented immigrants would create job losses not seen since the Great Recession.

And do you know the industry that would likely be most affected? Agriculture – the very industry Trump and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross have been defending recently. An estimated 50 percent to 70 percent of farm workers are undocumented.

Some farm workers are already starting to leave the country for fear of being deported. But, if farmers lost all access to undocumented workers it could cause agricultural output to plunge by $30 billion to $60 billion and it could force food prices higher by 5 percent to 7 percent, according to a study by the by the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF).

A big lie used by anti-immigration supporters is that immigrants take jobs away from native-born Americans, but the numbers do not agree when it comes to farming. Even when farmers raise wages, many say they don’t get more than a few Americans applying for their jobs. And, even when an American applies and accepts a job — many don’t come back the second day. It’s hard, back-breaking work and it’s seasonal and migratory — something most Americans don’t want to do.

By Julissa Arce for CNBC
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