If the comprehensive immigration reform bill that is still waiting to be voted on in the House of Representatives is not passed soon, the repercussions might start being felt by Americans in their own home – in the kitchen, in fact.
The Poultry Federation governs the public and private interests in the poultry and egg industries in the United States and its president, Marvin Childers, says that the lack of immigrant workers could soon have a big impact on consumer costs due to the effect this is having on production rates. “If we don’t do something, we’re going to drive the price of food completely out of reason for Arkansans and Americans,” Childers noted at a press conference on Tuesday.
Childers claims that the ability of farmers to locate employees has been hindered significantly by the introduction of the federal E-Verify system, which tries to ensure that the people hired to work on US farms are legally entitled to do so. Childers argues that this process is discouraging undocumented immigrants from putting in applications to these positions, with the result that the applicant pool as a whole is being decimated.
With no process in place for these people to gain US citizenship, the poultry industry might end up with no alternative but to increase prices. “It’s obvious that our immigration system is broken,” Childers declares. “We all agree that we need to start with securing the border, but we need to make certain that the people are here, that we get them on some path to citizenship.”