NMPF endorses Senate bill addressing immigration laws, dairy workforce

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The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) today endorsed a new Senate bill containing a comprehensive reform of the nation’s immigration laws – and, importantly, provisions to ensure continued access to qualified workers by America’s dairy farms.

On Thursday, seven U.S. Senators introduced the “Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2011”, S. 1258. The lead sponsor is Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), who introduced the bill along with Sens. Harry Reid (D-NV), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) and John Kerry (D-MA).

“A healthy U.S. dairy sector depends on a viable workforce, which is something our current immigration policies struggle to provide. The status quo is broken, and it can’t be fixed simply through more enforcement measures – we need a comprehensive fix,” said Jerry Kozak, President and CEO of NMPF.

The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2011 includes the dairy H-2A visa eligibility provision (S. 852) that was introduced earlier this spring by Sen. Leahy, and backed by NMPF. The reform package also includes the “AgJobs” proposal, and the DREAM Act, long sought after by NMPF and other agricultural groups. Both a mandatory employment verification system and a program to require undocumented immigrants in the U.S. as of June 1, 2011, to register with the government, learn English, and pay fines and taxes on their way to becoming Americans, are a part of this act as well.

“Dairy farms and other agricultural employers increasingly have been under the microscope for their employment practices,” Kozak said. “It is critical that comprehensive immigration reform is passed into law before more employers are targeted by the enforcement agencies. Our producers need a means to hire qualified foreign-born workers to do the jobs that Americans don’t want to do.”

A survey released in 2009 of the labor and hiring practices of U.S. dairy operations found that many farms are heavily dependent on foreign laborers, and that the dairy sector would be crippled if it had no access to immigrant workers. That survey is available on the NMPF website.

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Arrchie Bunker    
June, 23, 2011 at 12:52 PM

MYTH: Immigrants take jobs from Americans. FACT: Immigrants create new jobs, and complement the skills of theU.S. native workforce. MYTH: Immigrants drive down the wages of American workers. FACT: Immigrants increase overall economic productivity and have no significant effect on overall wages for American workers. MYTH: Immigrants will cause massive, unnecessary population growth in the United States. FACT: As the baby boomer generation begins to retire and the U.S.fertility rate declines, it will be necessary to replace our aging workforce with immigrants to maintain economic growth. MYTH: Undocumented immigrants do not pay taxes. FACT: Undocumented immigrants pay billions of dollars in taxes each year, often for services they will never receive. MYTH: Immigrants come to the United States for welfare benefits. FACT: The law forbids immigrants from using welfare services. MYTH: The Government should just enforce the law to solve our immigration problems. FACT: Enforcement alone will not solve our immigration problems. The cost would be prohibitive, it would have a detrimental effect on the U.S. economy, and it would simply push certain immigrantsfurther into the underground economy. MYTH: Immigrants are not assimilating. FACT: Immigrants are assimilating at much the same rate as pastwaves of immigrants. MYTH: Immigrants are more likely to commit crimes than U.S. natives. FACT: Immigrants have a much lower incarceration rate than U.S. natives. MYTH: Workers that come to the United States as temporary workers will stay in the country once their visas expire. FACT: Historically, migrants from Mexico worked in the United States for a few months or years, but then returned home. Border enforcement has made that pattern much more difficult.

Arrchie Bunker    
June, 23, 2011 at 01:06 PM

THE UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS ARE PAYING MORE TAXES THAN YOU THINK!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IMMIGRANTS AND TAXES: Q: “Is it true that illegal immigrants don’t pay taxes and drain our economy?” A: As Ben Franklin said, “Nothing is certain but death and taxes.” Like the rest of us, unauthorized immigrants pay taxes on their property and anything they buy. More than half of them have taxes taken out of their paychecks, but because our immigration system is dysfunctional, these taxes are paid under false Social Security numbers. We need a new regimen in which we know who is paying taxes and can ensure that no one is getting a free ride. The only way to do that is to pull unauthorized immigrants out of the shadows and get them on the right side of the law. Three state-level studies have found that unauthorized immigrants pay more in taxes than they use in benefits. In Iowa, unauthorized immigrants pay an estimated $40 to $62 million in state taxes, while they and their employers contribute an additional $50 million to $77.8 million in federal, Social Security, and Medicare taxes from which they will never benefit. In Oregon, unauthorized immigrants—who are not eligible for any state benefits—pay between $134 million and $187 million in taxes each year. Finally, in Texas, the State Comptroller found that, without unauthorized residents, the gross state product in 2005 would have been $17.7 billion less. THE BOTTOM LINE: Undocumented immigrants are an important component of the U.S. economy. They meet the labor demand in sectors in which they do not directly compete with U.S.-born workers. The great majority of migrant workers are taxpaying, hardworking, and law-abiding people who are integrating into U.S. society.

USA  |  June, 23, 2011 at 01:36 PM

Arrchie, EVERYONE pays property and sales tax if they own property or buy anything. It's not a dysfunctional immigration system that causes bogus SS taxes, it's people stealing I.D. and creating bogus SS # with the intent of defrauding LEGITIMATE taxpayers. Illegal immigration is NOT a victimless crime, legal residents and citizens are getting short-changed all the time because of this. In Kentucky it costs legitimate legal taxpayers $308 million a year to "keep" illegal aliens and their children while the illegals pay only $18 million in property, sales and income tax. As far as illegals "integrating into U.S. society", I can't wait to see that.

C. Roth    
California  |  June, 23, 2011 at 07:02 PM

If Big Dairy is going to be backing amnesty for illegals, I'm going vegan.

massachussets  |  June, 23, 2011 at 08:11 PM

Compulsory Voting 1) Arguments in favour Compulsory voting ensures a large voter turnout. This means a victorious candidate or party clearly represents a majority of the population, not only politically motivated individuals who would vote without compulsion. This helps ensure that governments do not neglect sections of society that are less active politically. 2) Arguments against Compulsory voting can be seen as infringing a basic freedom of the citizen. Some consider the fining of recalcitrant voters to be more oppressive still. 3) Argument to start the Compulsory Voting in USA. Illegal immigrants were in this Country because this system did facilitation, where illegal immigrants violate a Civil not Criminal instance and the real responsible are the body of executive and judiciary. Chosen for each voters (American Voters) on pasts election day . Maybe there is compulsory voting here, nothing would have happened Try It America! THanks Dispatcher Garbe http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2uCcm4Cvts http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2uCcm4Cvts http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2uCcm4Cvts

us  |  June, 23, 2011 at 10:45 PM

Economics= manpower + earth (with the help of God). No need to deport manpower otherwise it will negatively affect economy where they're deported from. Simple, no?

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