Maine Farmers Worry About Workers’ Future Under Trump Immigration Policy

Farmers and the foreign-born workers they hire – legally – to bring in the harvest are unsure what their future holds.

Every August, as the first McIntoshs start growing heavy on his apple trees, farmer Art Kelly looks forward to the arrival of Kelly Orchards’ three long-term employees. He’s known them for decades – one has been picking apples at this Acton orchard for 45 years, predating even Kelly – and they’re so good at what they do that he’s willing to soldier through a boatload of federal paperwork and pay airfare to get them from Jamaica to Maine.

He needs these foreign-born pickers and they need him.

But after the new Trump administration made abrupt changes to immigration policy, allowing officials to halt people from seven Muslim-majority countries at airports (until his unconstitutional executive order was shut down by federal judges) and continues to conduct large-scale raids on immigrant communities, Kelly and other Maine farmers are anxious about what will come next…

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