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Immigration Cloture Vote Big Step For Ag, Group Says

Ag Workforce Coalition says border security amendment gets Senate much closer to full immigration agreement

Published on: Jun 26, 2013

The Senate Monday voted to invoke cloture on an important border security amendment to the federal immigration reform bill, a move that the Agriculture Workforce Coalition says represents "an important step" in passing the full bill.

The amendment, offered by Sens. John Hoeven, R-N.D., and Bob Corker, R-Tenn., would add 20,000 more patrol agents to the U.S.-Mexico border and increase funding for border security measures by $38 billion. It also includes several requirements that must be met before immigrants in the U.S. can be issued green cards: enhanced surveillance at the border, at least 700 miles of fencing at the southern border, full implementation of the E-Verify system and implementation of the electronic visa entry system at all air and sea ports.

Ag Workforce Coalition says border security amendment gets Senate much closer to full immigration agreement
Ag Workforce Coalition says border security amendment gets Senate much closer to full immigration agreement

After all requirements are met, 10 years must pass after the enactment of the bill before the green cards will be issued.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, I-Vt., who has been leading the discussion on the floor and prior to floor votes as leader of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said the amendment brings further potential for bipartisan support in negotiations on the larger bill.

"This is not the amendment I would have drafted," Leahy said, but "Because their amendment will increase Republican support for this historic, comprehensive legislation, I will support it."

The Agriculture Workforce Coalition also welcomed the bipartisan support the amendment showcased Monday, and urged for a similar outcome as the Senate moves toward a final vote, possibly this week.

AWC pointed out that the bill includes legislation that the United Farm Workers and the AWC crafted with legislators this spring. The groups' draft included agricultural provisions that could be agreed on by both parties.

"These provisions are vital to ensuring that America's farmers and ranchers can find the workers they need to pick crops, prune trees or care for animals," AWC said Monday. "Agriculture stands united in support of the agriculture provisions contained in the Senate bill and we are committed to working throughout the legislative process to ensure that agricultural producers have access to a legal, stable and productive workforce."

The Senate has been working through amendments to the immigration legislation since passing the Farm Bill at the beginning of the month.

Read more on Agricultural Immigration:
Senate Judiciary Committee Passes Immigration Reform Bill
Agricultural Immigration Issue Unfolds
Long Week Ahead for Immigration Negotiations
All Parties 'Comfortable' With Ag Immigration Proposal
House Reveals Agricultural Guestworker Proposal

Story Tags: farm bill, the farm bill

Add Comment
  1. Anonymous says:

    So tell me, WHO is going to support these law-breaking wet backs during the ten years between "enactment" of the bill and issuance of green cards? WHO is Agriculture Workforce Coalition (sounds Communist-ish)? The mere mention that United Farm Workers had their finger in this pie is a dead gIve away that ALL these lovely new immigrants YOU are advocating for WILL be unionized. Is THAT really what the American farmer and rancher wants? Are we that desperate? Be careful what you wish for, in your desperation. Caesar Chavez may rise from the grave for the victory party. I live near a town full of illegals, the majority of whom survive without working for any farmer or rancher. They survive on entitlements, food, fuel, housing assistance, as well as free cellphones. They further supplement their income by various basic entrepreneurial ventures, picking up aluminum cans along the roadways, as well as scavenging for other metals (copper) on the "nightshift". If farmers and ranchers really believe we will gain a source of cheap, dependable labor through passage of this contrived piece of legislation, profoundly naive doesn't begin to describe them. This comprehensive "law" will be the death knell of the very capitalist system farming and ranching entrepreneurs thrive under. May you all wind up on the collective farm as grunt-work hand laborers. Read some history. THIS is precisely how 1917 Russia nationalized the Kulaks land into ownership of the state. The new immigrants will be the army the elite political class use against property owners to kill our productivity. If our property is not directly confiscated, it will be taxed away from us through the need for monumentally higher taxes to care for this ill-conceived onslaught of new citizens. This site continues to read like a Leftist Democrat campaign commercial. Do these writers have the slightest bit of journalism training or awareness of politics in the current environment? In your wildest imagination, how can this piece be considered politically neutral?