Agriculture Labor Issues

What’s the Background?

There are an estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. Congress periodically has sought to address the issue through such means as raising the quotas for various visas to allow more immigrants into the country legally, increasing border security and surveillance and requiring employers to verify the legal status of foreign workers.

Why Does It Matter to Our Producers?

The U.S. pork industry needs a viable agriculture workforce to remain globally competitive. Farms and packing plants rely heavily on immigrant labor. Without access to immigrant labor, production costs would increase, leading to higher food prices for consumers. In some cases, a shortage of labor could lead to facilities shutting down, causing serious financial harm for those operations.

What is NPPC’s Position?

The U.S. pork industry depends on immigrant labor. Further restricting the available labor supply will have serious adverse consequences for the industry. NPPC supports an immigration system that establishes practical and fair employment laws and encourages a legal and productive workforce while not placing an undue burden on employers. The system should contain workable solutions that allow undocumented workers already in the United States to continue working and should expand – or at least maintain – existing visa programs to make them more efficient and easier to navigate for employers.

Further Resources