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.Let me see if I have this straight: The centerpiece of your guy's campaign, which was to crack down on immigration, as evidenced by what he said in his declaration of candidacy, you all thought that was just eyewash? The foundation of your business operation, cheap labor, depends on illegal immigration and you were willing to risk that because you thought you'd save a few bucks on taxes?
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.
“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.”
And you think that that the Trump staffers, many of whom are hostile to all immigrants, including legal ones, are going to go along with you in getting visas approved for your laborers?
I suspect that you guys are growing some other agricultural products and are partaking of them a little too often.