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Northwest Farmworker Communities Wary Of Trump Administration's Plans

Anna King
Northwest News Network
Two farmworkers admire a massive New Holland field sprayer tractor at a potato conference in Kennewick, Washington.

Most farmers in rural eastern Washington state say they only hire legal workers. But there’s a polite fiction of living and working there. Federal immigration officers raid farms and ranches here. And people get deported.

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump signed executive orders to deport people who can’t prove legal immigration status or citizenship.

“I hope it will be good years for us,” said a man who wants to go by the name IM. He’s Latino and works heavy equipment at carrot and potato farms.

While Trump has said he’s “a president for everyone,” Latino workers like IM are skeptical.

“All the families are scared,” he said. “You know, about what they say, or what will happen in the future.”

Trump also wants to hire 10,000 more immigration enforcement officers.

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.