A nation-wide group looks to call attention to immigration reforms in all 50 states. Members of New American Economy are launching the I March For Immigration campaign. Their goal is to show how important immigrant workers are to produce ag products and keep the rural economy strong. Southeast South Dakota dairy farmer Lynn Boadwine (BOHD-wine) says the extra help is not a luxury for his operation.
“You know I started with my own dairy farm, milking cows by myself—40 cows. And you know, went through all the challenges of milking my own cows seven days a week. You know, getting up at 4 in the morning and finishing at 9 at night. What has really helped me grow my business and keep the dairy industry alive in South Dakota is the use of immigrant labor.”
Boadwine says his farm takes part in the Federal H-2-A temporary Guest Worker program.
“But, little known to a lot of people—the H-2-A Guest Worker Program was developed 20, 30 years ago. And it was seasonal more designed, it was seasonal and temporary labor around pickers, vegetable growers and that—it was administered by the United States Department of Labor. And one of the big issues around that is that dairy is not deemed temporary or seasonal, so it’s really excluded.”
A release from New American Economy reads the group is made of mayors and business leaders from all political parties who support immigration reforms as a means to create American jobs.