ANDERSON COOPER: Over here we have Jason Vorpahl. [Email him] He's a dairy farmer from Random Lake, Wisconsin. He says he's voting for you, Senator Cruz—Jason.A 2800 cow dairy farm, as owned by Mr. Vorpahl, has a gross income in the millions of dollars. (Almost $6, 000, 000, I estimate. ) Of course, there are expenses, and that's what Vorpahl is griping about. Dairymen pay, according to the Journal-Sentinel above "significantly more than minimum wage." But not very significantly.
CRUZ: Thank you, Jason.
QUESTION: I am a dairy farmer here in Wisconsin, and dairy farming in my family goes back to the 1800s when my great-great grandparents starting farming with six cows. Today we have 2,800 cows.
QUESTION: And it's a 24-hour operation. We offer a competitive wage and offer full benefits to all our employees.
Most farms in the dairy industry cannot find American-born workers to milk the cows and take care of them. The only ones willing to do this hard work are Latino immigrants who, if we didn't have them for eight hours, there would be a crisis across the country in our industry. [Wisconsin dairy farmers worry about losing Latino workers, by Rick Barrett, Journal Sentinel, February 17, 2016]
What is the short-term solution to keep our current labor force intact? And what is the long-term solution moving forward?
CRUZ: Right. Well, thank you for sharing your experience as a dairy farmer, and, you know, there are farmers across this country who are really hurting. And farmers are hurting from a lot of things.
They're hurting from a federal government whose policies have been making it harder and harder for farmers to survive. They're hurting from an EPA who is imposing massive burdens on farms.
For example, the Waters of the United States Rule where the EPA has tried to define a puddle or a drainage ditch on your farm to be navigable waters and thus subject to massive environmental regulations.
And I think we need a president, we need an administration that takes the burdens off farmers so that it is easier to do your job which is incredibly important.
Now, when it comes to labor, I understand the need to have labor and that it can be hard to have agricultural labor. You know, I'll tell you, though, one of the consequences of our immigration system right now, when we've got 12 million people who are here illegally, that has an effect of driving down wages for Americans across this country.
There was a very interesting article, it was about, oh, a month, maybe six weeks ago in The Wall Street Journal, it was focusing on Arizona. You'll recall several years ago Arizona put in place really tough laws on illegal immigration. [The Thorny Economics Of Illegal Immigration, By Bob Davis, February 9, 2016. It's a subscriber link, but Steve Sailer quoted most of it here.]
And they were criticized loudly for putting those laws in place. And it was interesting, this Wall Street Journal article, because it talked about what happened in the wake of that law, which is a great many of the illegal immigrants left.
They left the state and went elsewhere. And it actually quoted a farmer, and that's the reason I'm bringing up this example, it quoted a farmer, a fellow in Arizona who was growing peppers.
And he complained, he said, listen, all people that we had picking peppers, they left. And he said, I didn't know what to do. I didn't know that we were going to be able to pick our peppers.
And what it described that he did is he actually went and invented a new tool to help pick the peppers. And then he went down to the local community college and he ended up hiring Americans coming out of the community college.
He had to pay them more. He paid them about $15 an hour. But he continues picking his peppers except he's doing so in a situation where what has happened in Arizona, the public expenditures have plummeted.
Arizona is spending hundreds of millions of dollars less on prisons, on education, on hospitals, for those here illegally. That means that's hundreds of millions of dollars available to take care of U.S. citizens.
And also unemployment has gone down and median wages for Americans have gone up in the construction industry, carpenters. We're seeing wages going up.
And I think the view—our immigration laws should benefit American workers. That should be the focus of immigration laws.
[Full Rush Transcript: Sen. Ted Cruz, CNN Milwaukee Republican Presidential Town Hall, March 29th, 2016. Emphases added.]
By contrast, the owner of a farm that size makes enough money that he's an enthusiastic Republican voter—at least, if Republicanism means cutting taxes for the wealthy, while providing them with cheap labor.
But Cruz said no, which, once again is due to the Trump Effect. For previous Wisconsin dairy coverage see