Farm Leaders Urging Immigration Action

Immigration reform bills failed in the Senate last week, but farm leaders are pressing for House action that they want to include agricultural workers.

The American Farm Bureau Federation is urging lawmakers to get behind a bid by House Judiciary Chair Bob Goodlatte of Virginia to include the Agricultural Guestworker Act in his broader immigration reform bill.

Whether a more-conservative House GOP measure has any chance in the Senate is questionable…but AFB President Zippy Duvall says agriculture is at a “crisis point” in securing adequate legal immigrant labor.

AFBF public policy executive director Dale Moore described the problem…

AFBF’s Deputy Executive Director Paul Schlegel on the fight to keep ag in the House reform bill…

The Goodlatte AG Act would create a new H-2C program that expands the existing H-2A to cover dairy and some vegetables. The bill, HR 4092, passed the House Judiciary Committee last October. It creates a new program called H-2C, which is designed to cover year-round employers, including dairies, food processors and aquaculture operations.

National Farmers Union chief Roger Johnson says ag immigration labor reforms are a must…

Johnson argues the U.S. can either harvest its food with immigrant labor or get rid of that labor and import food from other countries with lower labor standards.

Farm Bureau’s Duvall says AFBF supports providing immigrant workers the chance to earn permanent legal status.