The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) joined a coalition of businesses, trade associations and other organizations to advocate for passage of a comprehensive immigration reform package.

Created in 1999, the Essential Worker Immigration Coalition is composed of business organizations from many industries that are concerned with the shortage of lesser-skilled and unskilled laborers, known as “essential workers.” The coalition engages in the legislative process to inform Congress and shape immigration reform legislation.

Last summer, the Senate passed comprehensive immigration reform legislation, known as the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (S.744) in a historic 68-to-32 vote. Also last year, the House Judiciary Committee developed four bills addressing immigration.

Earlier this year, House Republican leaders released a document titled “Standards for Immigration Reform” but later also indicated that it was unlikely the House would pass immigration legislation in 2014.

“IDFA joined the coalition because a stable and reliable workforce is imperative to the success of our member companies and the producers who provide a consistent supply of milk,” said Ruth Saunders, IDFA vice president of policy and legislative affairs.”It is important for IDFA to join with other American business groups, and the farm sector, to support passage of immigration reform and to have a unified position.”

Other members of the coalition include the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Meat Institute, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the National Council of Chain Restaurants. 

To learn more about the coalition, visit the website at http://ewic.org/.