“Idaho’s economic vitality rides on the shoulders of the immigrant work force, many working in agriculture, that pay taxes,” Bob Nierebout, a member of the Idaho Dairymen's Association, said. "Immigrants in Idaho pay more than $460 million in taxes every year. They have more than $1.5 billion in spending power, and they’ve started 4,000 businesses in Idaho.”
The state's dairy sector -- which accounts for a third of all agribusiness in Idaho -- employs more than 8,000 immigrants, the bureau said.
“It costs between $11,000 and $22,000 to deport a single illegal worker,” Nierebout said. "If there's 12 million illegals, we’re looking at $150 billion to deport workers in this country. It’s fiscally irresponsible, yet its one of President Trump's campaign promises.”
Braden Jensen of the Idaho Farm Bureau said a year-round guest-worker visa program could be the solution
"Operations like dairies require year-round labor and do not qualify for seasonal guest-worker programs, and of all the ag sectors, they’re hurting the worse,” Jensen said. “They need year-round visas right now just to stay in business.”