Trump’s remarks were felt sharply in California, which produces nearly half the country’s fruits, vegetables and nuts valued of $47 billion annually.
By Scott Smith
Jan 5, 2017
Roughly 325,000 workers in California do the back-breaking jobs that farmers say nobody else will do, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Manuel Cunha Jr., president of the Nisei Farmers League farming association, estimates 85 percent of California farmworkers live in the United States illegally.
Leticia Alfaro, a food-safety supervisor at the farm, said in an interview that many of her friends who work in the fields don’t have proper documentation like her, and they take Trump’s threats seriously.
“They’re terrified by his comments,” Alfaro, 53, said in Spanish.
They fear being deported and torn from their children who were born here, she said. After Trump takes office, they wonder if it will be safe to make a simple trip to the grocery store, fearing checkpoints where they’ll be pulled over and have to show their documentation.