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Immigration Reform: What Does It Mean for Agriculture and Rural America?

Author

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  • Philip Martin
  • Linda Calvin

Abstract

Over half of the hired workers employed on U.S. crop farms have been unauthorized to work since the mid-1990s, thereby increasing risk for employers if increased immigration law enforcement reduces the availability and raises the cost of farm labor. Immigration reform that legalizes farm workers could speed exits from the farm workforce, thus putting upward pressure on farm wages. Better enforcement of existing immigration laws would reduce the supply of farm workers, also putting upward pressure on wages. Producer response to higher wages depends, in part, on the availability of guest workers and alternatives to hand labor such as labor-saving machinery.

Suggested Citation

  • Philip Martin & Linda Calvin, 2010. "Immigration Reform: What Does It Mean for Agriculture and Rural America?," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 32(2), pages 232-253.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:apecpp:v:32:y:2010:i:2:p:232-253.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/aepp/ppq006
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    Cited by:

    1. Maoyong Fan & Susan Gabbard & Anita Alves Pena & Jeffrey M. Perloff, 2015. "Why Do Fewer Agricultural Workers Migrate Now?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 97(3), pages 665-679.
    2. Rodgers, Aaron D. & Harri, Ardian & Morgan, Kimberly & Tack, Jesse & Hood, Ken & Coble, Keith, 2014. "Determining Willingness to Adopt Mechanical Harvesters among Southeastern Blueberry Producers," 2014 Annual Meeting, February 1-4, 2014, Dallas, Texas 162529, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    3. Grace Melo & Gregory Colson & Octavio A. Ramirez, 2014. "Hispanic American Opinions toward Immigration and Immigration Policy Reform Proposals," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 36(4), pages 604-622.
    4. Zahniser, Steven & Hertz, Thomas & Rimmer, Maureen T. & Dixon, Peter B., 2012. "The Potential Impact of Changes in Immigration Policy on U.S. Agriculture and the Market for Hired Farm Labor: A Simulation Analysis," Economic Research Report 262231, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.

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