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Agricultural Labor

Issue Background

Farm Bureau supports immigration reform that addresses American agriculture’s needs today and in the future. Reforming U.S. immigration law is essential to agriculture.

Click here to Take Action Now to End the Inaction on Immigration and Farm Labor Reform

Reforms to the immigration system must assure that American agriculture has a legal, stable supply of workers, both in the short- and long-term.  This means:

Dealing responsibly with our existing workforce.

Providing reliably for the future by assuring that farmers and ranchers have access to a usable worker program that responds to agriculture’s unique needs.

Clearly, border security and employer enforcement are important parts of the debate, but such provisions alone cannot solve the problem.

What’s at Stake?

Farmers and ranchers face a shortage of workers who are willing and able to work on farms and in fields. A Farm Bureau economic analysis concluded that $5 billion to $9 billion in annual production is in jeopardy if the employee shortage cannot be filled.

To most U.S. residents seeking employment, these conditions are not attractive. Yet, for many prospective workers from other countries, these jobs present real economic opportunities.

This includes attracting a sufficient number of competent, willing and able employees to sustain and grow production; allowing the recruitment and hiring of non-resident agricultural workers when the need is demonstrated; and allowing an opportunity for some current non-resident agricultural workers to apply for legal resident status.

 

Issue News

Benefits ruling inspires march by migrants Apr 18, 2014 - The Honolulu Star-Advertiser Hawaii continued paying for full coverage for COFA migrants until 2009 when the state then tried to roll out a reduced-benefits health care plan. Mazie Hirono, the Senate's only immigrant, worked to include language in the chamber's immigration reform bill -- introduced a year ago Wednesday -- that would restore Medicaid eligibility for COFA migrants. The bill passed the Senate in June but has not yet been vetted by the House.
 
 
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