Ag Groups Put Pressure On Immigration Issue, But House Uneasy

Groups say lack of policies for ag immigration has a trickle-down effect on the American economy and consumer

Published on: Feb 4, 2014

The Agriculture Workforce Coalition, the American Farm Bureau Federation, and more than 70 other agriculture groups have joined with the Partnership for a New American Economy to launch an immigration reform campaign, even as the House of Representatives appears uneasy on plan forward.

The #IFarmImmigration campaign will include online and in-person campaigning toward new U.S. immigration policy, kicking off Wednesday with a press briefing in Washington, D.C. During the briefing, the campaign will release new research on labor.

Farmers and ranchers will continuing the efforts by conducting farm tours and participating in the conversation through social and traditional media, videos, and community events for members of Congress in their districts.

Groups say lack of policies for ag immigration has a trickle-down effect on the American economy and consumer
Groups say lack of policies for ag immigration has a trickle-down effect on the American economy and consumer

According to AFBF, ag employers reported more than $300 million in losses in 2010 because of worker shortages. In addition, immigrant workers make up approximately 80% of hired labor on American farms.

"Immigration reform is critical for the agricultural industry," said AFBF President Bob Stallman. "This campaign will highlight how many farmers rely on an immigrant labor force and without reform, growers will begin to plant less labor intensive crops or go off shore. Simply put, either we import our labor or we import our food."

The #IFarmImmigration month is part of the #IAmImmigration campaign to engage a range of American industries in the immigration conversation. Over the next several months the campaign plans to engage Americans to push for reform.

"Across the country, crops are rotting on the vine because our farmers don't have the workers they need," said John Feinblatt, Chair of the Partnership for a New American Economy. "Our choice is clear.  We either bring in our workers or we bring in our food.  The American agriculture industry depends on getting this right."

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  1. Daniel Neuter says:

    We are recovering from 2 wars and a recession that wasn't prevented by the previous administration. So any help to secure our economy should be welcome including immigration reform.

    • Richard Crump of Ohio Farmer says:

      We don't already have enough of this in our own country ? ……….. Two severed heads were dumped in front of a bank in the western Mexican state of Michoacán on Monday, days before a planned visit by Enrique Peña Nieto, the president, to the volatile region where he has launched a major security offensive. Though there was no confirmation of the identity of the victims, officials believe the murders in the town of Parácuaro were the work of the Knights Templar cartel seeking to dissuade potential informants. More Mexico grapples with rise in kidnappings Knights Templar on quest for drugs efficiency Mexico set for $7bn foreign cash boost Violence threatens Mexico’s reforms Valor por Michoacán, a local group that monitors the security situation, posted on Twitter that the victims were found with a sign reading “for all those who switched sides”. An official who asked not to be named confirmed that the message was a warning to potential traitors about what could happen to them. Mr Peña Nieto, who is due to travel to Michoacán this week although no date has yet been announced, deployed some 9,300 federal police and troops to the so-called Tierra Caliente (Hot Lands) region of Michoacán last month to wrest back control of a state with an important Pacific port, and where so-called self-defence groups of armed vigilantes had taken the law into their own hands to fight the Templars. It was the third time in under a year that the president had sent federal forces to the state, where the cartel has branched out from drug trafficking and extortion to run a lucrative line in smuggling iron ore to China. The move appeared to be paying early dividends, including the capture of the alleged number two in the Templar hierarchy, and a deal with self-defence groups to legalise and join rural police forces. Nonetheless, the ability of criminal gangs to slip unnoticed into Parácuaro and dump the heads in a plastic bag in front of the bank at the entrance to the town, despite the heavy police and army presence in the region, underlines how difficult it will be to tame the Templars. Two self-defence group members also admitted last week to having being armed by a rival drug gang, the government says, highlighting the parallel challenges of reining in vigilante groups that sprang up last February. “We always took for granted that this kind of thing would happen – it’s a complex conflict,” said the official, referring to the severed heads, a gruesome tactic used by drug lords in the past to send warnings. The government last week reported skirmishes with armed men and the capture of an arms haul, a safe, and drugs as we ……….

  2. Richard Crump of Ohio Farmer says:

    I vote NO . We passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act in 1986 during the Reagan years . 3 Million illegals were legalized by this Act . An additional 12 million were coat tailed in under the guise of Family Reunification . And now 28 years later - here we go again ?

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