Technology in the form of robots, drones, and other kinds of mechanization is rapidly transforming the agricultural sector of our economy and in the process making foreign farm workers superfluous.
This development, happening not in secret but right under the noses of farmers and government officials, should render current demands for additional immigrant labor absurd on their face.
Yet somehow, they seem oblivious.
Last week, when asked about his hesitancy to support E-Verify, the President tweeted: “The one problem is E-Verify is so tough that in some cases, like farmers, they’re not — they’re not equipped for E-Verify. ”
Trump is assuming farmers need the workers they’re demanding and hence would be inconvenienced by E-Verify. They don’t, or soon won’t, need them, thanks to technology.
On May 24, Matthew Sussis of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) began a series of articles on how agricultural mechanization is alleviating and will soon be eliminating the need U.S. farmers for foreign laborers. His first article deals with the impending use of drones to perform such farm functions as soil and field analysis, planting, crop spraying, irrigation, etc.
Sussis refers to an April op-ed piece in National Review by Mark Krikorian entitled “A Robot in Every Field,” where he details the changes in store for agriculture. Krikorian concludes his piece with a suggestion for the President: “If the White House feels the need to service the ag lobby, why not propose mechanization-loan guarantees to help small farmers wean themselves off stoop labor? Rather than promise a chicken in every pot, why not a robot in every field?”
For the Sussis article see the CIS.