President Donald J. Trump’s aggressive stance and enforcement of immigration laws — as well as his promise to build a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico — has many U.S. farmers worried about a potential worker shortage in their fields. Now, they’re warning American consumers that Trump’s policies could send grocery bills soaring.
Fueled by fears that they won’t be able to find and hire enough workers to plant, grow and harvest their crops, many American farmers are lobbying politicians to encourage immigration enforcement that “minimizes that harm to their livelihoods,” CBS News reports.
According to the Pew Research Center, immigrants in the U.S. illegally are “overrepresented” in the agriculture industry compared with their overall population numbers. They make up 5 percent of the overall civilian workforce, but about 26 percent of all farming workers. The Department of Labor’s National Agricultural Workers Survey estimates that up to 46 percent of America’s farmworkers are in the U.S. illegally.
The American Farm Bureau Federation says stepping up immigration enforcement could send food prices higher by 5 to 6 percent because of a “drop in supply and because of the higher labor costs farmers could face,” explains CBS.
Regardless of what happens to food prices, we can help you take a bite out of your monthly grocery bill. For example, watch your total at the checkout stand drop by eliminating serving-sized items, such as individual yogurts and chip bags, from your supermarket cart.
“Rather than buying small packages, buy bigger portions and break them down,” writes Maryalene LaPonsie in “25 Ways to Spend Less on Food.”
You can also use your phone to cut grocery costs. Apps like Ibotta and Checkout 51 actually pay you to go shopping. To find out more, read “9 Ways Your Phone Can Slash Grocery Costs.”
What do you think of Trump’s hard-line stance on illegal immigration? Share your thoughts below or on Facebook.