Caleb Reed

Caleb Reed

Evaluating Changing U.S. Immigration Policy and the Agricultural Labor Supply


Caleb Reed, John Lai, Bachir Kassas, & Stephen Morgan


Dr. John Lai


College of Agricultural and Life Sciences


<p style=”text-align: left”>Access to hired labor in agricultural production processes is a pre-requisite for ensuring consumers have access to a safe, affordable, and abundant food supply; however, changing U.S. immigration policy threatens to create shortages of qualified and willing seasonal workers, which may lead to increases in farm wages, shrinking farm profits, and higher food prices (Harper, 2020). Given the importance of hired immigrant labor to U.S. agriculture, there remains a critical need to examine how changes in U.S. immigration policies may affect agricultural labor supply and existing food supply chains.</p><p style=”text-align: left”>Shedding new light on the relationship between immigration and agricultural labor supply promises to advance public understanding in several important ways. First, we will highlight and explain the most recent developments in immigration policy affecting U.S. agriculture. Second, this work will explicitly relate immigration policy, agricultural production, and food prices for the broader public. Rather than limiting discussion to the welfare effects of agricultural labor groups, this work will directly connect immigration policy decisions to prices observed in the marketplace. Finally, we will assess whether and to what extent consumers are willing to bear higher costs in exchange for more strict immigration and border policies. The public’s understanding of these associations may change voters’ cost-benefit analysis of immigrant-related issues (Barry, & Ferracioli, 2018).</p>


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Research Pitch

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