One of several planned sanctuary cities to be built by agribusiness giant Monsanto to house migrant workers.
One of several planned sanctuary cities to be built by agribusiness giant Monsanto to house migrant workers.

Modesto, CA —  With sanctuary cities under threat to lose their federal funding, Monsanto has a made a bold move by building it’s own. Monsanto produces genetically engineered seed and Roundup, a glyphosate based herbicide. In 2015 Monsanto was the world’s biggest supplier of seeds and it looks like they have found a way to encourage their seed use in the central valley. Foreseeing a shortage of labor to work the fields, Monsanto has started building a futuristic city capable of housing up to five thousand residents about twenty miles from Modesto.

Security was obviously a priority as we were escorted into the complex by two armored vehicles. We met with a representative who gave us a tour through the city. Wearing a khaki jumpsuit Dave told us,

“We believe in being proactive. Trump can take federal funding away from cities offering refuge to illegal immigrants but have our own funding. We are also prepared to protect our city from invasion by ICE(Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents. We have safe transport for our residents to and from the fields so they can always be on time. There are contracts already in place with several farms that will be using our superior seeds and gain access to cheap plentiful labor.”

We traveled up the seven story building by stairs as there seemed to be no elevators. The housing units looked like dorms with the bunk beds but Dave assured us that sanctuary residents prefer to be close to their peers.

“Sure it may look like we got them packed up like sardines but this part of their culture. This environment is what they are used to and keeps them comfortable,” Dave replied as he wiped a bead of sweat from his brow.

We noticed a lack of air conditioning in the units and after bringing that up to Dave he dismissed the question with a wave of his hand.

“I think we’re done here. You Gish Gallop folks ask too many questions,” he said as signaling two guards to escort us out. This may be a glimpse into the future of big agriculture as they battle against political pressure to change labor practices that keep food affordable and available.

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