Milk producers disappointed ag left out of immigration bill
After the House voted 121 to 301 to reject a border security and immigration bill on Wednesday, the National Milk Producers Federation said its members “are extremely disappointed that Congress did not include an agricultural guestworker element as part of its compromise immigration reform bill that ultimately failed today.”
“The U.S. dairy industry continues to face serious challenges obtaining and maintaining a reliable workforce, and we were hopeful that we can achieve a better outcome for farm employers,” NMPF said.
National Milk thanked Reps. David Valadao, R-Calif., Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., and Jeff Denham, R-Calif., for attempting to get a farm guestworker visa program in the bill, and also recognized House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway, R-Texas, for their efforts.
“However, we are deeply disappointed that a small group of House members chose to undermine this good work by refusing to compromise, undermining good faith negotiations and ultimately preventing forward progress,” NMPF added.
“This kind of hostage-taking cannot continue if Congress is to make meaningful progress on a critical issue for our country. We know there are many members in both parties who are eager to forge solutions to these complicated issues, and we are hopeful that this is not the end of the process. Dairy cannot wait any longer.
“We hope that the agriculture guestworker provision will be brought to the House for a vote later this summer as we continue to work with our congressional allies to create legislation that addresses our concerns.”