April 4, 2019
This week, the House Judiciary Committee scheduled a hearing to address the ongoing lack of a reliable workforce for production agriculture and ag processing. The Committee continues to hear from organizations including UEP that the lack of a proper workforce in agriculture is hampering farmers’ ability to meet strong demand for U.S. farm products. Scheduled to testify is Tom Nasif representing the Western Growers, Bill Brimm, a Georgia fruit and vegetable farmer who is a strong user of the H2A program, Ariel Arteaga who is a daughter of immigrant farmworkers, and Arturo Rodriguez, President of the United Farmworkers of America.
The focus of the hearing is the bill introduced by Zoe Lofgren, a California member and senior leader on the House Judiciary Committee. The Lofgren bill attempts to legalize the ag workforce living and working in the U.S. but does little to insure a future workforce for agriculture. Other members and other ag groups including UEP have been working on efforts to merge a workable guest worker program with Congresswoman Lofgren’s bill, to create a more complete and workable immigration system for US Agriculture.
UEP will continue to make ag immigration relief a priority in legislative activities. The egg industry’s reliance on a stable and secure year-round agricultural labor force will be the topic of a UEP position paper to be presented during the Congressional visits at the Washington, D.C. Legislative Meetings.
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