On Sunday, President Obama promised to pursue immigration reform if re-elected.
“I can promise that I will try to do it in the first year of my second term,” he told Univision.
Haven’t we heard that before?
In June 2009, President Obama pledged to push for immigration reform, tapping a top Cabinet official to work with Congress and make it a priority. Read more.
Back then, he didn’t have the excuse of blaming Congress for any inaction on the issue. Both houses of Congress were controlled by Democrats at the time.
In November 2009, in a speech at the Center for American Progress, U.S. Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano said immigration reform would be a priority of the Obama Administration in 2010.
Two and a half years later, we are still waiting for meaningful reform.
Dairy farms continue to operate in legal limbo.
In February, while attending the World Ag Expo in California, I heard an incredible story about a Michigan dairy farmer who had three immigration raids occur at his place. The last time, law enforcement came in with a helicopter and tank, he said. The raids, along with being put on probation and fined $2.7 million for hiring illegal immigrant workers, left the farmer in a tough spot. He realized he had to start hiring Anglos, and that proved daunting just trying to find enough Anglo workers to stick around and do the work. Read more and see a video here.
The fact of the matter is, very few American-born workers are willing to do the work. If it weren’t for immigrant workers, many dairies would be in major trouble.
Cows need to be milked; consumers need a reliable supply of dairy products, and billions of dollars flow through state and local economies because of it.
It’s time that the government came up with some sort of clarity on this issue.
It’s time someone stepped up and took a leadership role.