A Sour Twist to the Immigration Issue

By Lexi Matthews ’18

Crying over spilt milk is an age-old taboo, but Donald Trump’s immigration policy has certainly given dairy-lovers something to be upset about.

The Republican frontrunner’s plan to build a wall across the Mexican-American border to prevent illegal entrances into the country is well known to most Americans, but few truly know the drastic effects it would have on the agricultural workforce. Nearly 41 percent of all dairy farm workers are immigrants, varying in legal documentation. Stricter immigration laws would cause an estimated 77,000 jobs in the industry to be lost, and ice-cream, cheese and yogurt products to skyrocket in price or disappear from stores completely due to low production rates.

Whether you enjoy milk or are lactose intolerant, the issue serves as startling proof that the problematic “Mexicans are stealing our jobs” rhetoric has no real backbone. Dairy prices are able to stay low because of the hard, low-paying labor immigrants put in that Americans feel they are above. Improperly documented immigrants are not some scary, ominous threat many citizens believe them to be, but rather vital elements to our economy and food accessibility. Ignorance and rash decision-making driven by fear of job loss will not lead to a safer country; Shutting out these humble workers will only lower our nation’s integrity and make it harder for Americans to satisfy their sweet-tooth.