Last week the U.S. Senate started debate to take action on comprehensive immigration reform. According to the National Milk Producers Federation newsletter, the proposed Senate Bill 1348 address these four key areas:

  1. Enhanced border security.
  2. Increased enforcement of employer prohibitions in hiring illegal immigrants.
  3. A transition to legal status for the 12 million illegal aliens currently in the U.S.
  4. Provisions for future temporary worker programs to fill jobs where there are insufficient U.S. workers.             

The bill contains AgJOBS, the legislative language providing a reasonable path forward for agricultural workers. It also contains a provision that makes the guest worker program more workable for dairy producers, given the year-round need for labor in our industry. The legislation satisfies the key criteria that NMPF's Board laid out as vital to a beneficial immigration reform bill.

The legislation is facing attack from all sides, and is subject to amendments as debate progresses. But it is a good path forward on the immigration issue for the dairy industry and the rest of agriculture. Because of this, NMPF will be strongly supporting the bill and urges dairy producers to do the same. “The Senate needs to hear from the dairy producer community that we want to see the comprehensive approach to immigration reform taken by S. 1348 move forward without further delay.”

Visit the Dairy GREAT website for talking points and instructions on how you can contact your Senators in support of AgJOBS.