Agriculture Awaits Immigration Reform

February 25, 2014 08:41 PM
Agriculture Awaits Immigration Reform

In the State of the Union address, President Obama pushed immigration reform to the top of his to-do list this year. "Americans overwhelmingly agree that no one who works full time should ever have to raise a family in poverty," he said.

However, Michael Harpold, a 35-year veteran border patrol inspector for the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, who collaborated for several years with labor leader César Chávez, says the pending proposal in the House and Senate would actually perpetuate the cycle of poverty among farm workers. But none of this really matters if immigration reform is not a priority for lawmakers in the House and Senate.

John Boehner (R-Ohio) made a pitch for immigration reform at the GOP retreat, but it’s said he was outnumbered 3 to 1 in moving the issue forward.

"A comprehensive agriculture labor plan that works for all sectors of agriculture, and across all regions of our nation, is long overdue," says Bob Stallman, American Farm Bureau Federation president. "America’s farmers and ranchers depend on the workers who show up every day to tend crops and care for livestock. In short, our farmers and ranchers need long-term access to a steady and reliable supply of skilled agricultural workers."


"You shouldn’t label them, and depending on the size of the product, you may have no space to label them ... eventually the label is going to be meaningless."
—USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack regarding the labeling of GMOs

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