Dairy Industry Warns ICE Raids on Farms Could Skyrocket Milk to $8 a Gallon. 

By: Gabe Ortiz
The Daily Kos
April 19, 2017

In reminder of just how much the nation’s economic engine depends on immigrants, the dairy industry is warning consumers that Donald Trump’s mass deportation dragnet could cause the price of milk to soar to $8 a gallon:

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the current average price of a gallon of milk is about $3.31. The price of milk has actually remained pretty steady for the last decade, but that could change if the new president allows his immigration crackdown to extend to dairy farms.
The last dairy farm raid that made headlines took place in 2013 in Michigan and was part of a larger investigation into a couple who allegedly conspired “to transport, conceal, harbor and shield from detection undocumented immigrants to obtain their services for financial gain.”
But factories, restaurants, and farms are fairly regular targets of immigration raids. In February, 55 undocumented workers were arrested during a series of raids at Chinese restaurants in Mississippi. One of the largest workplace raids took place in 2008 at an Iowa meat processing plant. There, 389 immigrants were detained, the Bush administration’s largest roundup of undocumented workers at a single site, the Washington Post reported at the time.

“We need to continue to demonstrate to the federal government, to demonstrate to the Trump administration, that we are continuing the fight, to make sure that farm workers, that immigrants are protected in this nation,” said Arturo Rodriguez, president of the United Farm Workers.
According to a study from Texas A&M University, “about 79 percent of the nation’s milk supply comes from dairy farms that employ immigrants.” Across all farms, 71 percent of workers are immigrants, and 48 percent are undocumented. 
Regardless of their immigration status, immigrants are this industry’s life force, a fact too often disregarded by most consumers. Now that the possibility of losing the immigrant population is real, all Americans—particularly lower-income families—are at risk of feeling the pain.

NOTE: Recall that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS in bureaucratize) is the very same agency that "cooked the books" during the Obama Administration in order to hide the fact that unemployment in the country wasn't 10% but more like 60%.  You remember all the accusations, surely, since they were mewled out over the airwaves by every right wing media outlet west of Africa.  So a word of caution seems to be in order.  Can we believe the BLS if they sometime next year tell us that milk is costing $8 a gallon?  Of course we can't.  On the other hand, the Trump crackdown on illegals - who are pretty much the mainstay of our entire food production and milk production industry -  if it keeps up, is going to cost us all in inflated food prices at you local Safeway.  
It's one of the unintended consequences of public policies that are not thought through, not based on factual information and are generally adopted in order to please a base.  In this case, the Trump base, believes that illegal immigrants are grabbing all of their jobs. This is very evident from the long lines - sometimes miles long - of White folks lining up at farms in order to work 10 hours a day, for $7 or $8 an hour, bent over slicing heads of lettuce under a blazing sun. With not benefits.  Yes, the perfect White man jobs. 
This adoption of public policies without thinking things through is also exhibited in Trump's Muslim Travel Ban that reduced travel bookings from overseas by around 30%. Since the U.S. tourist and travel industry is a $150 billion business annually in the U..S, which if reduced by 30% would be a drop of around $45 billion in tourism proceeds.  Not sure how many jobs would be lost but probably quite a few.   I guess ex-tourist agents and tour bus drivers can go work in the revitalized West Virginia coal mines.  

Yup!  Love those jobs!    



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