Farm leader welcomes progress on immigration reform
» May 17, 2007 «
An immigration-reform announcement by U.S. Senate leaders and the Bush administration sets the stage for meaningful change that will benefit farmers, farmworkers and consumers, according to the leader of California's largest farm organization.
"This is a big day for those of us who want to see meaningful immigration reform," California Farm Bureau President Doug Mosebar said, "but details remain to be worked out, and we know there will be many long days ahead."
Mosebar said the announcement adds momentum to the immigration-reform push.
"We will do everything we can to show our representatives how reform will help family farmers, farm employees and consumers while enhancing the security of our nation," he said. "Having a plentiful, affordable, domestic food supply aids our national security. And there's nothing more basic to keeping food production in the United States than making sure farmers can hire enough people to care for and harvest their crops."
By singling out specific provisions for agriculture in a comprehensive immigration-reform plan, Mosebar said, the Senate and the Bush administration have shown they understand the crucial role that immigrant workers play in providing safe, affordable food for American consumers.
"The people who harvest our crops are skilled workers whose knowledge and care form a vital link in the food supply," he said. "An improved temporary-worker program benefits the hard-working people who come to our country in search of jobs, and allows farmers and ranchers to be assured that the people they hire have entered the country legally to pursue those jobs.
"Senator Feinstein and Senator Craig have worked tirelessly and spoken eloquently about the need for a program that recognizes the special needs of farms and ranches. We appreciate their commitment and we will work hard to make sure that it reaches the president's desk this year," Mosebar said.
The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of nearly 92,000 members.
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