Because apparently toiling in the fields to supply our food pays too well:
New White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is working with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to see how to reduce wage rates for foreign guest workers on American farms, in order to help U.S. farmers struggling during the coronavirus, according to U.S. officials and sources familiar with the plans.
The effort to provide "wage relief" to U.S. farmers follows an announcement Friday by the USDA to develop a program that will include direct payments to farmers and ranchers hurt by the coronavirus. Trump said Friday he's directed Perdue to provide at least $16 billion in relief.
Welp, so much for the idea that getting him out of Congress was a net benefit. It takes a special kind of jerkweasel to categorize cutting already low pay as "relief." And once again I find myself waiting (in vain) for the Free Market heroes at Civitas and JLF to step forward and observe that those wages are determined by the labor market and should be left alone, or we may end up with food rotting in the fields. John? Jon? Anyone? Bueller? Even the anti-immigration folks are against this policy move:
Groups on the right fear Trump is succumbing to the will of the agriculture lobby that is demanding lower wages for foreign and domestic farmworkers at a time of record high unemployment in the United States.
The Department of Labor reports a 16.6 million Americans have filed for unemployment aid in the last three weeks.
"President Trump should see right through what the agriculture lobby is demanding in the name of 'food security' at the height of a health crisis – lower wages for American workers and more cheap foreign labor," said Dan Stein of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which supports immigration restrictions. "These appalling demands underscore that the whole way this nation produces food should be re-examined."
If Trump wants to throw some money at farmers to keep them afloat, fine. But leave those workers alone, or the produce aisles will be just as empty as the toilet paper section.