Last Monday, Caroline and Jamey Hines, the owners of Hines Family Farms near Selma, showcased their farm facility and spoke out in favor of immigration reform they claim will make their workforce stable, predictable, and reliable. Hines Family Farms grows sweet potatoes and is currently reliant on workers secured by the federal H2A program to do the farm work.
“Having H2A workers is everything to us,” said Caroline Hines, a fourth generation farmer. “Our competitive advantage is quality, and having reliable workers creates a better product than using machinery. We need an immigration system that is fairer and more streamlined.”
Hines also remarked, “Labor will be the number one issue for my farming generation. It’s become so political,” she continued. “I appreciate all that Congressman David Rouzer has done to take the lead on the issue. Now is the best time to pass an immigration bill that guarantees that the workers we need can legally work here.”
Spearheaded by New American Economy (NAE), the farm event helped mark the launch of Map the Impact—a campaign to highlight the power of immigrants in communities across the country.
In North Carolina, Map the Impact shows that in Rouzer’s 7th Congressional District:
- There are 46,740 foreign-born residents who make up 6.2% percent of the area’s population.
- Immigrants paid $221.3M in state and local taxes and held $690.3M in spending power in 2014.
- Immigrants are 64.83 percent more likely to be entrepreneurs than the native population, and there are 1,757 immigrant entrepreneurs in this District.
- Immigrants own 9,853 homes and help to build the area’s housing wealth.
- Immigrants make up 32 percent of the Agriculture industry, 21.2 percent of the Construction industry, and 14.3 percent of the Manufacturing industry, and more.