Aug 23, 2022
Western Growers’ video urges passage of ag labor bill

Western Growers has issued another plea for the U.S. Senate to pass the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, with a video that ties easing of the labor shortage to lower food prices.

“The current broken immigration system fails to provide the workers the agriculture industry needs to support our country’s food production,” according to a Western Grower’s news release on the video. “According to a recent study by Texas A&M University, solving the labor shortage will reduce food prices.”

The video is available on YouTube:

The bipartisan Farm Workforce Modernization Act, passed twice by the U.S. House of Representatives, provides a path to legal status for experienced, domestic farmworkers and streamlines the H-2A temporary worker visa program.

By passing the law, the U.S. Senate would help protect the future of farms and food supply, according to Western Growers.

Texas A&M study on consumer prices, immigration

The study, “The Link Between Consumer Prices, Labor Costs and Immigration in the U.S.: Bivariate Associations,” evaluates macro-level indicators of economic and immigration variables, according to a summary of the study. Texas A&M did not receive outside funding or support for the study.

Key findings of the study:

  • More migrant and more H-2A workers are related with lower inflation;
  • More migrant and more H-2A workers are associated with higher average wages and minimum wages;
  • More migrant and more H-2A workers are associated with lower unemployment;
  • More denied petitions for naturalization are associated with larger consumer prices and higher inflation; and
  • More petitions for naturalization are associated with lower inflation.

“Overall, the findings in this study tended to support the conclusion that policies on non-citizen admissions and immigration have a profound association with the economy,” according to the study.

The researchers assessed the effect of non-citizen admissions on labor costs and consumer pricing in relation to fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs and dairy products.

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