I guess when your county has a lot of dairies you gotta expect a lot of bullshit. From the New York Fake News:
MERCED, Calif. — Jeff Marchini and others in the Central Valley here bet their farms on the election of Donald J. Trump. His message of reducing regulations and taxes appealed to this Republican stronghold, one of Mr. Trump’s strongest bases of support in the state.
As for his promises about cracking down on illegal immigrants, many assumed Mr. Trump’s pledges were mostly just talk. But two weeks into his administration, Mr. Trump has signed executive orders that have upended the country’s immigration laws. Now farmers here are deeply alarmed about what the new policies could mean for their workers, most of whom are unauthorized, and the businesses that depend on them.
“Everything’s coming so quickly,” Mr. Marchini said. “We’re not loading people into buses or deporting them, that’s not happening yet.” As he looked out over a crew of workers bent over as they rifled through muddy leaves to find purple heads of radicchio, he said that as a businessman, Mr. Trump would know that farmers had invested millions of dollars into produce that is growing right now, and that not being able to pick and sell those crops would represent huge losses for the state economy. “I’m confident that he can grasp the magnitude and the anxiety of what’s happening now.”
Mr. Trump’s immigration policies could transform California’s Central Valley, a stretch of lowlands that extends from Sacramento to Bakersfield. Approximately 70 percent of all farmworkers here are living in the United States illegally, according to researchers at University of California, Davis. The impact could reverberate throughout the valley’s precarious economy, where agriculture is by far the largest industry. With 6.5 million people living in the valley, the fields in this state bring in $35 billion a year and provide more of the nation’s food than any other state.
The consequences of a smaller immigrant work force would ripple not just through the orchards and dairies, but also to locally owned businesses, restaurants, schools and even seemingly unrelated industries, like the insurance market.
Many here feel vindicated by the election, and signs declaring “Vote to make America great again” still dot the highways. But in conversations with nearly a dozen farmers, most of whom voted for Mr. Trump, each acknowledged that they relied on workers who provided false documents. And if the administration were to weed out illegal workers, farmers say their businesses would be crippled. Even Republican lawmakers from the region have supported plans that would give farmworkers a path to citizenship.
“If you only have legal labor, certain parts of this industry and this region will not exist,” said Harold McClarty, a fourth-generation farmer in Kingsburg whose operation grows, packs and ships peaches, plums and grapes throughout the country. “If we sent all these people back, it would be a total disaster.”
Farmers here have faced a persistent labor shortage for years, in part because of increased policing at the border and the rising prices charged by smugglers who help people sneak across. The once-steady stream of people coming from rural towns in southern Mexico has nearly stopped entirely. The existing field workers are aging, and many of their children find higher-paying jobs outside agriculture.
Many growers here and across the country are hopeful that the new administration will expand and simplify H-2A visas, which allow them to bring in temporary workers from other countries for agricultural jobs. California farmers have increasingly come to rely on the program in the last few years.
But Mr. McClarty and others say that legalizing the existing work force should be the first priority. While they support the idea of deporting immigrants who have been convicted of serious crimes, they oppose forcing people to leave the country for minor crimes, like driving without a license. Since the election, they have continued to call their congressional representatives and lobbied through trade associations, like the Western Growers Association, whose chief executive is part of Mr. Trump’s agricultural advisory board.
First of all, Merced County is not a Republican stronghold. Hillary won Merced County 53% to 41%. Our Congresscritter is a Democrat. I don’t remember the last time we elected a Republican. Bernie Sisk (D) was our representative when I was born, and he was followed by Tony Coehlo, Gary Condit, and Dennis Cardoza – all Dems.
Secondly, there ain’t no shortage of illegal immigrants around here. There is a shortage of jobs, though. The Central Valley is one of the worst places in the nation for unemployment, welfare dependency, teen pregnancy, crime, homelessness, illiteracy, and air quality.
Jeff Marchini is a typical California farmer. We never went for that “forty acres and a mule” type farming. Farming in California is more akin to cotton plantations in the South than family homesteading in the Midwest. It’s agribusiness. Instead of slaves they use illegal aliens. California agribusiness has been exploiting immigrant labor since the Gold Rush. The Marchini family owns several sizeable agribusinesses.
Business wants cheap labor. That’s why they favor unfettered immigration. If they didn’t have a steady stream of illegal immigrants to hire they would have to pay more money to attract American workers.