Agricultural leaders and growers met with Vice President Joe Biden June 26 to talk about immigration reform and Western Growers president and chief executive officer Tom Nassif said the meeting with Biden highlighted the need for Congressional action on immigration reform this year.
“I told the vice president that we will continue working with members of Congress and Republican Leadership to find a path forward on this critical issue. We understand that the time for leadership and action on this issue is now and we are committed to working to ensure steps are taken to address the immigration concerns of agriculture,” Nassif said in the statement. “I also emphasized that Democrats in the House need to compromise on a path to legalization and fight for citizenship in a conference and if they don’t have a problem with border security provisions they need to make that more clear.”
Western Growers members Kevin Murphy, president and chief operating officer of Driscoll’s, Watsonville, Calif., and Nan Walden, vice president and counsel at Farmers Investment Company and Green Valley Pecan, Sahuarita, Ariz., also were at the meeting with Nassif.
Media coverage of immigrant children crossing the southern U.S. border has thrown chaos to the debate on immigration, said Robert Guenther, senior vice president for public policy for the United Fresh Produce Association, Washington, D.C.“We continue to push a very positive message, but it is really made it even more complicated than it already was before all this happened at the border.” Direction on both appropriations and immigration could come after the July 4 district work period, he said.