The issue of immigration is of great economic significance to the High Plains region, as much of the population in the area consists of immigrants, many of whom work in agriculture-related fields.
In a June 30 Wichita Eagle editorial, Trista Brown Priest, the chief strategy officer at Cattle Empire, LLC, of Haskell County, Kansas - which according to its website is one of the largest family-owned cattle feeding organizations in the U.S. - delves into the topic, highlighting the positive economic impact that immigrants have on the company and the region.
Priest writes that it the low local unemployment rate of 3 percent and the fact that many companies are continually seeking employees makes it clear that immigrants are not “taking jobs” from native-born Americans.
She also writes that immigrants earn extremely competitive wages at Cattle Empire, which thereby creates another economic benefit for the region.
She concludes that lawmakers should ensure that migrant workers and their families have access to a legitimate agricultural worker visa or other program that establishes their legal status.