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Idaho Dairy Group CEO boasts we ‘support 37,000 jobs’; Admits 90% of farm workers are foreigners

The Idaho Dairymen's Association insists that its industry simply cannot survive without a cheap foreign workforce.
Special to WorldTribune, March 3, 2022

Analysis by Joe Schaeffer, 247 Real News

One of the more important developments to note since 2020 and everything that year produced is the increasingly brazen manner in which cheap-labor loving big business interests that used to travel under the flag of "conservatism" are now openly working with radical illegal immigration activists.

Fox News reported March 2:
 

A diverse group of faith leaders, job creators and activists launched a new coalition this week to push President Biden and Congress to pass immigration reforms they say are common-sense solutions and are long overdue.

Nearly 30 groups, ranging from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to the National Association of Evangelicals, banded together to form the Alliance for a New Immigration Consensus (ANIC). They kicked off their advocacy campaign with a letter to congressional leaders urging them to act this year on popular reforms to protect certain undocumented immigrants from deportation threats.

The letter is instructive for its extreme emphasis on the needs of employers:
 

At no other point in recent history has the need for immigration reform been greater than it is today. Simply put, the system is broken. Millions of workers, many of whom were indispensable to America’s COVID-19 response, are living in legal jeopardy. Apprehensions at the southern border are at historic highs. Employers are also struggling to find workers to fill jobs in many industries.

Though the Uniparty has long been exposed, it's still rather amazing to see a former two-term Republican president so openly aligned with pro-illegal radicals. Under the signatures, the names Gaby Pacheco and the George W. Bush Institute appear one after another. Pacheco's family came to reside in America illegally when she was a child. Spanish-language cable TV giant Univision describes this in dull, generic terms, as if breaking this nation's immigration laws is nothing more than a clerical matter:
 

In 1993, at the age of eight, Pacheco immigrated to the United States with her family from Guayaquil, Ecuador. They arrived with tourist visas and were unable to secure legal resident status.

So they just stayed. Rather than have this information threaten her standing in the U.S., it has done the opposite. Pacheco has thrived as an "undocumented youth" activist:
 

On April 22, 2013, Pacheco became the first undocumented Latina to testify in front of Congress, speaking to the Senate Judiciary Committee about the urgent need for immigration reform. In 2015, she delivered The New School Commencement speech, where she received a Doctoral Degree in Humanities Honoris Causa. Pacheco was recently named one of Forbes magazine’s 30 Under 30: Education in 2015 and has also been recognized as one of 40 Under 40: Latinos in American Politics. In August 2015, Pacheco was profiled in Elle magazine alongside America Ferrera, Olivia Wilde, Anna Kendrick and others for a feature production on the world’s most accomplished 30-year-old women.

With the launching of ANIC, illegal alien youth establishment darling Pacheco has now officially become a servant of the advocates of a cheap labor force for large corporate interests. The Idaho Dairymen's Association is also a member. That's hardly surprising.

When one thinks of Idaho and farming, visions of red, white and blue rural America instantly come to mind. But small farms have been bludgeoned in recent decades and dairy farming is about big bucks today. Rick Naerebout, CEO of IDA, wrote in a pro-massive immigration 2021 piece for The Idaho State Journal that:
 

A lot has changed in the century since the IDA began, but Idaho’s commitment to a strong agriculture community and industry has remained. While our core values — commitment, integrity and hard work among other things — have stayed the same, Idaho’s dairymen have adapted to build an industry worth more than $9 billion.

Yes, $9 billion does have a way of changing things. IDA insists that its industry simply cannot survive without a cheap foreign workforce. Naerebout told KTVB-TV in Boise on Feb. 1:
 

"If you look at all food production in this country about half of all the ag work force is here without status, so half of every meal you eat is brought to you by an immigrant that's here without legal status, and that's how significant this issue is, our food supply and the ability for us to feed America is completely dependent on a workforce that's foreign-born and to a large degree is here without status,” Naerebout said.

If this is true, then Big Ag must be broken up immediately for reasons of national security alone. Of course, it is not true, and the only thing being threatened here by enforcing the immigration laws of this nation is the profit streams of large-scale industrial farmers addicted to hiring vulnerable and exploitable labor.

Naerebout still sees value in playing the "conservative" card even as he is in effect calling for the abolition of meaningful immigration labor regulations in this country. The Idaho Falls Post Register reported Jan. 26:
 

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Farm Workforce Modernization Act in March 2021, and Rick Naerebout, CEO of the Idaho Dairymen’s Association, said U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, who represents the 2nd Congressional District, was “instrumental” in the process.

The legislation has since been received in the U.S. Senate, and Naerebout said U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, both Idaho Republicans, have offered “strong support” for the effort as well. Rep. Russ Fulcher, R-Idaho, who represents the 1st Congressional District, voted against the measure in 2021.

“We send some of the most conservative Republicans to D.C., and they’re behind us on this issue,” Naerebout said. “We’re hopeful we can see something happen in the Senate to try and move forward with a bipartisan solution.”

Naerebout was speaking during a Wednesday press call that had been organized to discuss the ways immigration can be used to address economic challenges in the United States, from supply chain delays to inflation and labor shortages.

The push is now on to pass the bill in the Senate:
 

The Farm Workforce Modernization Act, which passed the House 247-174 in 2021 with 30 Republicans... voting in favor of the bill, would provide a path to legal immigration status for unauthorized farmworkers who have worked in agriculture for at least 180 days over the past two years.

As always, folks like Naerebout have no shame about expressing the thought that rising wages for workers poses a threat to their business model:
 

“So we’re seeing our industry continue to grow but that work force shrink,” he said. “Those numbers speak to the problems we hear our dairymen express.”

The situation is exacerbated by an increase in worker pay, which has risen 30% to 40% over the past five years to a starting wage of $15 to $18 per hour, Naerebout said.

Naerebout even has the gall to perversely assert that allowing an army of cheap foreign laborers into the U.S. is necessary to protect small farmers, who are being gobbled up by consolidation in the industry:
 

There are only 400 dairy farms in the state today, Naerebout said, down from 560 in 2012.

“Our smaller and medium-sized family operations just can’t make it,” he said. “Our average herd size (is) having to get bigger to make the economics work.”

Changes to the country’s immigration policies could help ease the economic strain on Idaho’s dairy farmers, Naerebout said.

But how much is this really about the welfare of the average citizens of this nation? Here is Naerebout writing in the Idaho State Journal:
 

I’m proud to represent Idaho’s dairymen. Together, we produce the third most milk in the country, support 37,000 jobs, and add $120 million to the state balance sheet. This success is the product of hard work and leadership, and it’s built on the backs of the dairy workers waking up early every day to keep our dairies going.

And here is the Idaho Falls Post Register writing of Naerebout in January:
 

He pointed out that 90% of his association’s on-farm workers are “foreign born,” but because dairies operate year-round, those employees are not eligible for temporary agricultural work visas — “or any other visa program.”

“That speaks a lot to what the legal status is going to be of our average dairy farm worker,” Naerebout said. “We need some sort of immigration reform.”

Question: Why should Americans be impressed by this man's boast that he is helping to employ 37,000 people when by his own admission 9 out of every 10 of his farm workers are foreigners?

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