Farmers Still Worried About Immigration Bill

Farmers across the country remain worried about the fate of the Senate immigration bill, a bill that Republicans in the House have vowed to keep off the floor.
Immigration reform has been a major goal of farm lobbyists for more than a decade. With a significant chunk of American farm labor being done by undocumented immigrants, farmers have been eager for major immigration reforms, hoping that changing federal laws will entice more farm laborers into the United States.
These efforts have been stymied by legislation on the state level. A number of Southern and Southwestern states have passed tough new immigration bills in the last several years, frightening away undocumented farm workers and costing farmers tens of millions of dollars in lost revenue.
While the Senate has passed a bill that offers illegal immigrants a path to citizenship and reforms the work visa program, Republicans have criticized the bill for rewarding illegal immigration. Speaker of the House John Boehner has promised to keep the bill of the House floor.
Farmers are reacting to the Republican claims with understandable trepidation. According to one Michigan farmer, “we’re running out of time. Each office had their party speech, [but] we don’t have the labor in this country that we used to have.”
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer