Touching on border issues, trade issues and immigration, Robert Guenther spoke with The Packer’s editor Tom Karst on April 5.
Guenther, senior vice president of public policy with the United Fresh Produce Association, said April 5 that he was happy with a hearing by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship on the future of immigration reform and farm labor.
Tom Nassif, president and CEO of Western Growers and Bill Brim President of Lewis Taylor Farms in Tifton, Ga., were among those who testified at the April 3 hearing.
“I thought it was a really good, good start to the discussion,” Guenther said, stating that the panelists effectively communicated what the challenges area.
“We’ve been building this case, the need for immigration reform, and we’ve gotten good response,” Guenther said. “We’re gonna have to roll up our sleeves and come up with some solutions related to that.”
Guenther also addressed stresses on the movement of imported and exported fruits and vegetables at the Mexican border, in addition to the outlook on the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement.
Guenther said that while President Trump has backed off a previous threat to close the border, concerns remain. Trump said he will give Mexico a year to resolve some enforcement issues for illegal immigrants headed for America. Even shifting of Customs and Border Protection staff to deal with humanitarian needs of increased illegal crossing has served to slow down some of the key areas that product flows back and forth from Mexico and into Mexico, Guenther said.