The agricultural industry in the United States is likely to be severely affected as the debate over immigration reform drags on, with the two major political parties remaining in deadlock over the issue. Over 20,000 American farms employ more than 435,000 immigrant workers every year, with thousands of seasonal immigrant workers being employed in states such as Florida and California, and the industry is suffering as the immigration impasse continues.
The owner of Titan Farms in South Carolina, the biggest peach grower on the East Coast, is Chalmers Carr. Carr told McClatchy DC News that it is difficult to find workers there given that South Carolina is not a border state and that there were simply not enough farm workers even when the economy was at its best back in the late 2000s.
The immigrants who have been working on farms across the United States for the last few decades are starting to get old, and the political divisions in the corridors of power have meant their younger relatives cannot take over from them because they fear being deported. Those who are against immigration reform often criticize farmers for not hiring American workers; however, farmers say that most Americans simply do not want the work in the first place.
Carr says that businesses such as his cannot wait much longer for the bureaucrats to sort out the mess and may be forced to close down their operations.