October 6, 2006
The American Farm Bureau Federation said it was greatly encouraged by the key elements of a recent comprehensive initiative to resolve the nation's immigration challenges.
Drafted by U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, and U.S. Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., AFBF said the initiative proposes a comprehensive resolution to immigration issues by including tighter border security, stricter employer enforcement and a vital guest worker program to provide agriculture a stable workforce.
"Farm Bureau has been deeply involved in solving the immigration challenge for years," said AFBF President Bob Stallman, a Texas farmer and rancher. "Our members want to secure our borders and tighten enforcement on employers who disobey the law. The best way to do thisin fact, the only way to accomplish thisis to enact a comprehensive bill that addresses all aspects of the immigration process, including U.S. agriculture's need for an adequate legal workforce."
Immigrant labor provides $9 billion annually in domestic production and $5 billion in farm income, AFBF studies indicate.
AFBF called the Hutchison-Pence initiative a "distinguished effort" to hammer out "a workable solution."
Texas Farm Bureau strongly supports an agricultural legal temporary worker program with a prevailing wage provision.