Senate committee to consider ag workers, E-verify next week

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The Senate Judiciary Committee continues its review of the immigration reform bill and 300 amendments to it, with provisions related to the fresh produce industry likely to be discussed the week of May 20.

Robert Guenther, vice president for public policy for the United Fresh Produce Association, Washington, D.C., predicted sections of the bill regarding agricultural worker programs and E-verify requirements would be handled May 20 or later.

Committee chairman, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., has a similar take on the situation when he posted an update about the bill’s progress on the committee’s special immigration reform Web page May 14.

“The committee will continue its markup on May 16, and will conclude consideration of Title IV,” Leahy wrote, referring to expected consideration of amendments affecting visas for entrepreneurs and startups.

The agricultural worker programs and E-verify requirements for employers are in the bill’s Title II and Title III, respectively.

Senate Judiciary Committee members began their markup of the bill May 9 when they considered 35 amendments, approving 22 of them with bipartisan support, according to Leahy’s update. He said Republicans offered nearly half of the amendments.

On May 14, the committee considered 38 amendments, approving 24 with bipartisan support. Leahy reported that session completed the committee’s review of the bill’s provisions on border security and some nonimmigrant visa issues.



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