UPDATED: Obama calls for immigration reform in 2014

01/29/2014 10:36:00 AM
Tom Karst

(UPDATED COVERAGE, Jan. 30) Calling on Congress to fix what he called the nation’s broken immigration system, President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address found supporters among agricultural allies.

Citing economic studies, Obama said Jan. 28 that immigration reform will boost the U.S. economy and shrink the deficit by nearly $1 trillion in the next 20 years.

“So let’s get immigration reform done this year,” Obama said.

Obama did not push the immigration topic too strongly during his address, said Frank Gasperini, executive vice president for Vienna, Va.-based National Council of Agricultural Employers.

“There is some thought that he might have not gone quite as hard on immigration as some people thought he might so as not to make the Republican leadership feel so beat up about it,” he said.

House Republican leaders on Jan. 30 released an outline on their principles for the legislation.
The document  emphasizes a step-by-step approach to immigration reform, with border security as a first priority. House Republicans also call an opportunity for illegal immigrants to stay in the U.S. and “get right with the law,” but with no special path to citizenship. House Republicans also called for an entry/exit visa tracking system, employment verification and workplace enforcement and reforms to legal immigration.
“Frankly, there has been skepticism by our membership that the House was really serious about taking action on immigration reform, but this demonstrates that Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor understand this issue is extremely important to our industry and many others,” Robert Guenther, senior vice president for public policy for the United Fresh Produce Association, said in an e-mail. ”We look forward to working with Congress to carry immigration reform over the finish line as soon as possible.”

House Republican leaders on Jan. 30 released an outline on their principles for the legislation.The document  emphasizes a step-by-step approach to immigration reform, with border security as a first priority. House Republicans also call an opportunity for illegal immigrants to stay in the U.S. and “get right with the law,” but with no special path to citizenship.


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Doug    
Raleigh NC  |  January, 31, 2014 at 08:29 AM

When illegal aliens currently working in the agriculture industry are given status to "come out of the shadows", what do you predict will be the effect on ag businesses as regards workers' rights, labor unions, repetitive motion injury claims, lawsuits, etc.? Do you think the illegals who were previously afraid to lose their jobs and face deportation will still do "the jobs that Americans don't want to do" for low pay under adverse - and sometimes dangerous - working conditions?

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