‘Terrifying for all of us’: Farmers in Kansas Trump country fear their workforce being deported
According to a Bloomberg report, farmers in Kansas counties that voted for President Donald Trump are troubled by his widespread deportation of their largely-Latino workforce.
“The threat of deportation and the potential loss of our workforce has been very terrifying for all of us businesses here,” Trista Priest, chief strategy office for Cattle Empire, a massive cattle operation that overwhelmingly employs Latinos.
Seventy-seven percent of people in county where Cattle Empire operates voted for Trump, but according to Bloomberg, Priest and others “complained that the immigration policies emanating from Washington, 1,500 miles away, clash with the needs of local businesses.”
“Two weeks ago, my boss told me, ‘I need more Mexicans like you,’” a young Latino farmhand told Bloomberg. “I said, ‘Well, they’re kind of hard to find.’”
As border apprehensions have decreased 47 percent from this time last year, more undocumented immigrants already in the states are more concerned about their immigration status than ever before.
“I’m really worried every little traffic ticket’s going to turn into detention,” Michael Feltman, a Cimmaron, Kansas immigration lawyer told Bloomberg. He said he’s seen more clients interested in the process of naturalization in the last six months than in the last four years combined.
As Trump continues to push deportation in executive orders, industries like agriculture and construction that employ immigrants say his policies don’t leave a path to citizenship for undocumented people working and living crime-free in the U.S.
“The visa system is so slow and so expensive,” Joe Jury, an Ingalls, Kansas farmer who employs Latinos told Bloomberg. “The government has dug this hole, and now they’re trying to dig themselves out through enforcement.”
Read the entire report on unpopular deportations in Trump country via Bloomberg.