Jonathan Kohrman and Mette Gustavsen: Praise farmers for speaking about immigration

Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Praise farmers for speaking about immigration

We are writing to express our thanks to local farmers for speaking out about immigration policies that threaten their livelihoods and the community of their workers (“Farmers’ ‘bedrock’ shaken,” April 10).

We are heartened by these business owners’ concern for workers’ well-being and dismayed by the fear and uncertainty facing both farmers and farmworkers. We realized that this is another example of our federal government ignoring facts when setting policy — in this case, pretending that much of our economy, including our food system, is not reliant on immigrant workers.

As residents of the Pioneer Valley, we can redouble our support for local farms and tell our legislators that we want an immigration policy that recognizes the essential work that immigrant workers perform, giving them legal status and a path to citizenship.

We all depend on each other — the farmers, the workers and the consumers. Our relationship should be one based on this reality of our interdependence. This can only come from trust and respect and everyone being treated fairly, both personally and legally.

The farmers in the report seemed to really understand this better than anyone.

Jonathan Kohrman
and Mette Gustavsen