The U.S. is experiencing a labor shortage that’s partly fueled by a drop-off in immigration, which ground to a halt during the coronavirus pandemicBy NICHOLAS RICCARDI Associated PressMay 7, 2022, 5:02 PM• 6 min readJust 10 miles from the Rio Grande, Mike Helle’s farm is so short of immigrant workers that he’s replaced 450 acres of labor-intensive leafy greens with crops that can be harvested by machinery.In Houston, Al Flores increased the price of his BBQ restaurant’s brisket plate because the cost of the cut doubled due to meatpacking plants’ inability to fully staff immigrant-heavy production lines. In the Dallas area, Joshua Correa raised prices on the homes his company builds by $150,000 to cover increased costs stemming partly from a lack of immigrant labor.After immigration to the United States tapered off during the Trump administration — then ground to a near complete halt for 18 months during the coronavirus pandemic — the country is waking up to a labor shortage partly fueled by that slowdown.The U.S. has, by some estimates, 2 million fewer immigrants than it would have if the pace had stayed the same, helping power a desperate scramble for workers in many sectors, from meatpacking to homebuilding,


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