The dogged pursuit of immigration reform by agriculture leaders and other advocates, in spite of periodic and predictable rejection by Congress for year upon year reminds me of that scene from the Dumb and Dumber movie. That’s when Lloyd (Jim Carrey) asks Mary, “What do you think the chances are of a guy like you and a girl like me ending up together? Hit me. Give it to me straight. The least you can do is level with me. What are my chances?”
Mary: “Not good.”
Lloyd “You mean, not good, like 1 out of a 100?”
Mary: “I’d say more like 1 in a million.”
Lloyd “So you are telling me there is a chance? Yeah!”
On July 9, Western Growers’ President and CEO Tom Nassif joined with other leaders at a press conference in Washington, D.C. to push for Congressional action on immigration reform. The “Day of Action” from officials from business, manufacturing and agriculture associations, including Western Growers, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Partnership for a New American Economy, American Farm Bureau Federation, Business Roundtable, the National Association of Manufacturers and AmericanHort.
In response to all the money effort and energy that immigration advocates have mustered, they keep getting the cold shoulder.
Republicans in the House of Representatives have removed all expectations of action on immigration this year. Still, immigration reform advocates are pushing.
Here is a release from the Agriculture Workforce Coalition
Washington, D.C. (July 10, 2014)--“The Agriculture Workforce Coalition (AWC) appreciates the courage, hard work and leadership that Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart has shown in the last several years in seeking to fix this country’s broken immigration system. In particular, he has shown a true understanding of and appreciation for the labor crisis being faced by agricultural producers across the country and across different commodities. The legislation that he has developed with his colleagues on both sides of the aisle would represent a significant step towards achieving meaningful immigration reform.
“We echo the disappointment he expressed today that his immigration bill will not be taken up in 2014. The AWC agrees that it is imperative that the House pass an immigration bill that addresses agriculture’s current workforce, creates a viable agricultural guest worker program and bolsters border and domestic security as soon as possible.