Should we reform immigrantion for agricultural workers?

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• “Legislation advanced by the House Judiciary Committee falls short of a long-term solution to farm labor shortages, which constitute one of the most significant barriers to farm success in several regions of the country… Before the bill was introduced, modifications were made in response to concerns raised by our members. While welcome, these changes unfortunately fall short of assuring that American producers will be able to keep their farms going, and the committee yesterday failed to adopt any amendments that would have improved the legislation for agricultural producers.” Source: Zippy Duvall (President, American Farm Bureau Federation)
• “The agricultural industry has asked that Congress provide access to the H-2A program for all sectors of agriculture. H.R. 5038, however, covers the dairy industry, but leaves out other important sectors like meat and poultry processing, forestry and aquaculture… The bill promotes fraudulent applications through its extremely low document standards and the ability to withdraw a knowingly false application without prejudice… The bill even authorizes U.S. taxpayer money to help illegal immigrants apply for amnesty and permits DHS to loot up to $10 million dollars from the fees paid by those seeking legal immigration benefits — such as naturalization.” Source: Rep. Doug Collins (Republican, Georgia, District 9)
• The men and women who work America’s farms feed the nation. But, farmworkers across the country are living and working with uncertainty and fear, contributing to the destabilization of farms across the nation… Our bill offers stability for American farms by providing a path to legal status for farmworkers. In addition, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act addresses the nation’s future labor needs by modernizing an outdated system for temporary workers, while ensuring fair wages and workplace conditions. Source: Rep. Zoe Lofgren (Democrat, California, District 19)
• “When I speak to farmers and ranchers across the country, labor is often their number one concern. Our nation’s agriculture industry is diverse and flourishing, but producers are in desperate need of a legal and reliable workforce… As a third-generation farmer, I understand the invaluable contributions made by farmworkers to American agriculture, and we must modernize our guestworker program to work for farmers, ranchers, and farmworkers in the 21st Century. The Farm Workforce Modernization Act offers a strong, bipartisan workforce solution to provide certainty to both farm owners and workers through an accessible, employment-based program. This bill is the solution our agricultural industry needs.” Source: Rep. Dan Newhouse (Republican, Washington, District 4)
• “The Farm Workforce Modernization Act addresses these issues in a bipartisan manner that will provide some much-needed certainty. It does so by modernizing the H-2A program, stabilizing wages, and instituting a merit-based system for agricultural workers to eventually earn legal status – but only after years of proven and consistent employment in the U.S. agriculture industry, vigorous background checks, and state-of-the-art biometric verification. It’s what the people who work to feed our country need. I’m happy to have been a part in crafting this bipartisan agreement and deliver on our promise to find solutions for America’s agriculture industry.” Source: Rep. Doug LaMalfa (Republican, California, District 1)
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