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Farmworker Deportations Could Cost NY State $8.5 Billion

Cornucopia’s Take: With more than half of all U.S. farmworkers being undocumented immigrants, a new report suggests over 1,000 farms in New York could close or significantly reduce operations if deportations continue. Farmers across the country are concerned about their shrinking workforce and consumers should be similarly concerned about what this means for their food supply.

Report: immigrant deportations could devastate North Country farm economy
North Country Public Radio
by David Sommerstein

One of the state’s top agricultural lenders is warning President Trump’s crackdown on undocumented immigrants could cost New York’s economy billions of dollars.

A report from Farm Credit East estimates 1,080 farms in New York could go out of business or significantly reduce operations if federal agents continue to step up deportations of farm workers in the country illegally.

Immigration police have arrested hundreds of people in Upstate New York since Donald Trump became president, according to federal figures. Many were working on farms illegally. That’s sending a chill through farmer and farmworker communities.

“Word gets out,” says Tom Cosgrove, spokesman with Farm Credit East, “and so I think it creates a little bit of a nervousness out there in terms of what might happen.” Farm Credit East is a farm lending cooperative with about 9,000 members in New York State.

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