Fixing Our Broken Immigration System: The Economic Benefits to Agriculture and Rural Communities   [open pdf - 867KB]

"Currently, the agriculture industry is hampered by a broken immigration system that fails to support a predictable and stable workforce. Moreover, there continue to be insufficient U.S.--‐born workers to fill labor needs: of those crop workers surveyed between 2007 and 2009, 71 percent were foreign born. In June, the Senate passed historic legislation that is largely consistent with the President's principles for commonsense immigration reform with a strong bipartisan vote. The Senate's Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744) represents a good opportunity for our country to modernize our immigration system. Among its most important provisions, the bipartisan bill would provide an earned path to citizenship for unauthorized farmworkers who are vital to our nation's agriculture industry, and a new temporary worker program negotiated by major grower associations and farmworker groups. It is time to act to fix the broken immigration system in a way that requires responsibility from everyone--both from workers here illegally and from those who hire them--and guarantees that everyone is playing by the same rules. To this end, the President urges the House of Representatives to take action and move the Senate bill or similar comprehensive legislation forward, and stands willing to work with all parties to make sure that commonsense immigration reform becomes a reality as soon as possible. This report highlights the important benefits provided by the bipartisan Senate bill for the domestic agriculture sector, its workforce, and rural American communities."

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