For many people who live paycheck to paycheck, it may seem as if illegal immigrants are used as labor just as a pure cost-cutting measure out of greed. It turns out that for many of them it’s more a necessity for survival. A study by Texas A&M University in 2015 reported that pulling out immigrant labor would result in the closure of 7,000 dairy farms. Hiring natural born citizens would require too much in wages. Automation isn’t really an option, either.
At present, the LA Times says a milking machine costs more than $250,000 and thus automation will not be a viable replacement for the illegal immigrant workforce for some time. If dairy farms were to attempt to pass the added costs onto the consumer, they would have to double the cost of milk, which would would very quickly hit many working class families pretty substantially in the food bill considering how many American eat cheeseburgers and pizzas on a regular basis.