California Farm Groups Frustrated with Congress

California farm advocacy groups like the Western Growers Association and the United Farm Workers are expressing frustration with congressional leaders and their inability to reach consensus on immigration and farm worker reform.
Immigration has been a hot button issue for the last several years. With several states passing tough new laws designed to curb the flow of illegal immigration, many farmers are reporting serious difficulties recruiting enough farm labor to harvest their crops.
In an effort to avoid having to rely on undocumented workers, many farmers have spent the last year pressuring Congress to reform the federal work visa program, making it easier to recruit legal farmworkers from Mexico and Latin America.
Talks with California Senators and Representatives, however, appear to be breaking down as farm advocacy groups appear less willing to work towards a common goal. In particular, representatives from the United Farm Workers are claiming that “grower associations are insisting to Congress that farm workers are currently paid too much,” and are resisting suggestions that the federal government set a higher minimum wage for farm workers.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Financial Staff Writer