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Maura Bennett Western Growers CEO Testifies to Congress
by Maura Bennett, click here for bio

Program: Colorado Ag Today
Date: April 12, 2019

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The ongoing challenges surrounding agriculture labor shortages and immigration reform are once again under discussion in congress.

Western Growers President & CEO Tom Nassif detailed the case for agricultural immigration reform before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship.

Nassif testified that what growers are asking for is not political but in the long term interest of the industry as well as strong humanitarian interests.

“Some of our pressing needs would include a legal status for our our long standing reliable workforce and their families without the need for a touchback, and H2A remake that is not an administrative nightmare that does not price our producers out of business, the ability to fill all of our jobs without the burden of a cap since these workers are not taking work away from those legally eligible to work there’s no displacement, no economic model that would justify hiring more workers than are needed. And lastly establish E-verify for agriculture only.”

Nassif reminded lawmakers that Western Growers members produce, pack and ship roughly half the vegetables, fruits and ¾ of the tree nuts in the US grown both conventionally and organically

Congress is considering the so-called Blue Card Bill which would allow agricultural workers an eventual pathway to citizenship as well as provide the agricultural industry with a more stable workforce.

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