By Victor Landa, NewsTaco (3.5 minute read)
I read three stories today that show why we need to keep talking about immigration, even though some of us may be getting fatigued with it.
Any time that immigration is mentioned in the news it has to do with Trump’s policies, or the Tumpian wall, or undocumented immigration, etc . . . But these three stories are about the effect of immigration policy on other areas of our social, economic and civic life.
Let’s start with your pocketbook.
We’ve talked about this as a possibility, but now it’s a major concern.
Immigration Raids Could Send Milk Prices Soaring
The Hoosier Ag Today reported on the Consumer Federation of America’s National Food Policy Conference where Jaime Castaneda, Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Trade Policy for the National Milk Producers Federation (is that official enough?), said that “the price of a gallon of milk could possibly approach $8. He estimates 80 percent of the nation’s milk supply comes from dairy farms that employ foreign labor and states that, if there is a continued effort to remove workers, there will be a significant shortage of milk and higher prices.”
For comparison, the USDA says that the average price range for a gallon of milk is $3.49-$4.99.
But there is a solution in the works, or at least the idea of a solution. “The United Fresh Produce Association notes there is a proposal to move the worker program from the Labor Department (I didn’t know it was there) to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.” But that would be admitting that we need immigrants to do the work that U.S. citizens won’t do.
And there’s this:
Trump’s immigration crackdown has serious public health implications
This was reported in Vox:
“While fear among migrants seems to be spreading faster than Trump’s actual policy changes, doctors and researchers who study the link between immigration and health say that’s enough to wreak serious damage. The Trump administration’s aggressive new anti-immigrant stance, they say, already seems to be impacting the health and health-care-seeking behaviors of undocumented residents and mixed-status families.”
It turns out that immigrants, especially now, are reluctant to seek preventive health care. A study done in 2015 found that “mixed-status families living in communities where the risk of deportation was higher were less likely to use Medicaid across the US.”
This is also contrary to the false narrative that says immigrants come to the U.S. to take advantage of “free stuff.” Mixed status families are less like to seek government help with food for their children, or seek attention for the metal anguish caused by a fear of deportation.
These public health concerns affect all of society, and not just iimmigrant communities – public health is a general concern.
And this happened
It’s from NBC News. A Peruvian immigrant named Margarita Fitzpatrick, who has a valid Visa, went to an Illinois DMV office to get a driver’s license. In the process the DMV counter person ask Fitzpatrick is she wanted to register to vote using the motor voter access. She hesitated and was pressed by the DVM worker, so she acquiesced, marked herself as a citizen, registered to vote and then voted in two elections. Now she’s going to be deported because she broke federal voting laws.
She claims she was pressured into registering then went ahead and voted once she got her registration card. And now there’s a lawsuit against the state of Illinois for causing the problem and the crime.
This affects us all because it could have an outcome that changes motor voter laws, and that could affect our local and national politics.
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[Photo by Alex Steffler/Flickr]