Release of immigration-reform principles by House Republican leaders marks a step toward tackling a critical issue for farmers and all Americans, according to the California Farm Bureau Federation. CFBF President Paul Wenger noted that the principles released today make specific reference to the needs of agriculture.
“Farmers and ranchers have been straightforward: We depend on an immigrant workforce,” Wenger said, “and we’re glad to see the Republican leaders acknowledge the necessity to create a workable system that meets the needs of both agricultural employers and employees.”
Wenger said reforms to existing agricultural immigration programs must be included in House legislation.
“This issue has remained unresolved for far too long,” he said. “Farmers and ranchers have good, practical ideas about how to make the system work better, and we look forward to working with House leaders as their proposals move through the House.”
Farm Bureau agrees with the need for border enforcement and electronic verification of employment eligibility, Wenger said.
“But a reformed agricultural-worker program must be in place before the government imposes E-Verify requirements on farmers and ranchers,” he said. “Only that way can we meet the twin goals of verifying employment and maintaining a sufficient and legal agricultural workforce.”
The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of nearly 78,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of more than 6.2 million Farm Bureau members.