FFVA JOINS FIGHT FOR GUEST WORKER LEGISLATION
FFVAs Walter Kates, director, Labor Relations Division, joined several hundered other agriculture representatives gathered outside the U.S. Capitol Wednesday (March 15) to urge lawmakers to adopt reasonable immigration reform.
The group told lawmakers that although they understood the need for border security, any legislation that did not contain a guestworker program would be a blow for the agriculture industry as well as the economy as a whole.
Without these workers, you wouldn't have an industry," Kates told reporters. "I don't think people realize that Americans won't take these jobs."
The House of Representatives passed legislation in December 2005 that calls for increased penalties on employers, requires electronic ID verification and has no provisions for guest workers. If not modified by the Senate, the bill would also make anyone assisting an undocumented individual a criminal.
Late Thursday, (March 16), Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) announced his intention to introduce his own bill, also without a guest worker provision, if the Senate Judiciary Committee could not come up with its own bill by March 27.