What is in this article?:
- Immigration ruling renews agriculture‚Äôs call for reliable labor law
- Sensible, incremental reforms
- The recent Supreme Court ruling on Arizona's controversial immigration law means agriculture must keep its nose to the grindstone to convince Congress to make positive farm labor law changes, says Arizona farmer Kevin Rogers, Arizona Farm Bureau Federation president.
- Voters would support sensible and incremental reforms that begin to address the broken system employers currently face. Addressing the needs of agriculture is the place to begin, says Western Growers President Tom Nassif of Irvine, Calif.
Sensible, incremental reforms
“Voters would support sensible and incremental reforms that begin to address the broken system employers currently face,” Nassif said. “Addressing the needs of agriculture is the place to begin.”
Western Growers’ members in California and Arizona grow, pack, and ship about 90 percent of the fresh fruit, nuts, and vegetables grown in California and 75 percent of the same commodities produced in Arizona.
United Fresh, a Washington, D.C.-based company which represents many sectors of the U.S. produce industry, believes the Supreme Court decision could add instability in produce-growing states with immigration laws on the books similar to the Arizona law.
“This labor force instability could impact farm employers across the country because of the migratory nature of labor in the produce industry,” United Fresh said in an official statement.
The Supreme Court’s decision underscores the immediate need for a comprehensive and practical guest worker program for agriculture to enable produce industry employers to remain viable and competitive, said United Fresh.
Jerry Kozak, president and chief executive officer, National Milk Producers Federation, Arlington, Va., believes immigration-related decisions in recent weeks highlight the need to finally resolve the “immigration reform conundrum.”
The mixed high court ruling, Kozak said, along with the recent executive order by the Obama administration to stop the deportation of some young undocumented individuals, fully illustrate how the issue of immigration reform remains controversial and divisive.
“These developments also show how critically necessary it is to resolve the immigration policy conundrum, especially for farmers and other employers concerned with maintaining and recruiting a workforce,” Kozak said.