Data on Fresh Produce Stokes Immigration Fire

Immigration, ag groups' data finds imports of fresh fruit and vegetables increasing on lack of domestic farm workers

Published on: Mar 19, 2014

Tuesday's D.C. discussion follows the February kick-off of the #iFarmImmigration campaign, which combines advocacy efforts between 70 ag groups and the Partnership for a New American Economy.

The group released a full study on the potential impacts of immigration reform on the ag economy in early February, suggesting that a 6% increase in food prices could be possible if immigration policies rely solely on enforcement.

The study also pointed out that while the fruit and vegetable sector would suffer, livestock production in the U.S. would also fall by 13% to 27%.

No end in sight
Though the Senate last summer passed an immigration reform bill, the House has only suggested moving forward with a piecemeal plan.

Many reports speculate that 2014 may not be the year for a full immigration push, however – House Speaker John Boehner has dismissed the idea, citing concerns that the White House, House and Senate will not be able to reach agreement.

Lead member on the #IFarmImmigration campaign, the American Farm Bureau, supports an uncapped Agricultural Worker Visa Program and a pathway to legal status for undocumented workers in agriculture.

View the full report: "No Longer Home Grown: How Labor Shortages are Increasing America's Reliance on Imported Fresh Produce and Slowing U.S. Economic Growth."

Source: Partnership for a New American Economy, AFBF