Farmers, Ranchers Calling For Immigration Reform
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Farmers and ranchers from across the United States are calling for action on immigration reform. The Texas Farm Bureau is asking Congress to “get ‘er done” to help farmers compete.
Texas Farm Bureau State Director Russell Boening runs a dairy farm just south of San Antonio. But this week he is in Washington, D.C., at the National Press Club talking about immigration reform.
“Some of our labor is going to have to be imported or more of our food is going to be imported. So I hope we can get that message across to all of our leaders," he said.
Boening said the inaction by Congress on immigration reform is a hardship on farmers and ranchers because they need a dependable supply of affordable labor.
“You can’t find local workers to do those types of jobs and most of those jobs have historically been done by immigrant labor. There are many many producers who feel the same way," he said.
Boening said a three-pronged approach is needed with border security, workplace enforcement and a way for workers to enter the country legally. He also supports a pathway to citizenship, although he said that is not as important.
What the farmers are really asking for is action right now. But with midterm elections coming up in November, that’s not likely to happen.