Some of the immigration reform bills being talked about on Capitol Hill focus on enforcement only, including one that would deport all undocumented farm workers.

“If we settle for enforcement only, it will take our industry with it”, said Luawanna Hallstrom, Harry Singh and Sons in Oceanside, Calif., to attendees of the Professional Dairy Heifer Growers Association meeting last week. Hallstrom cited the following:

  • According to a study by the American Farm Bureau Federation, without a guest-worker provision, losses to U.S. ag could total $9 billion annually.
  • Up to one-third of U.S. fruit and vegetable growers would disappear.
  • Each fruit and vegetable worker supports four upstream jobs so the impact on the U.S. economy could be huge. (To read the complete AFBF study, go to: http://www.fb.org/news/nr/nr2006/02-07-06/labor%20study-feb06.pdf )

Immigration reform will be decided within the next four weeks. Now is the time to contact members of Congress and let them know what you think about immigration reform.

Many dairy groups are lining up behind the AgJOBS bill (S.359/ H.R.884). Follow this link to get talking points and also to reach your Senator . To reach House members, follow this link.