The Partnership for a New Economy (PNAE), a PR effort supported by the Agriculture Workforce Coalition (AWC), of which United Fresh is a founding member, has released economic reports for all 50 states that are designed to make the economic case for immigration reform.
“Farming is difficult and challenging as it is,” said Robert Guenther, Senior Vice President for Public Policy at United Fresh Produce Association. “Even without the constant struggle to maintain a qualified workforce, producers face many obstacles to getting an abundant supply of nutritious fruits and vegetables to consumers. To meet the nutritional needs of the American people, immigration reform is essential and we’ll continue to fight for it. The data in these reports really helps to illustrate how much reform is needed.”
Immigration reform is a top issues for the United Fresh Washington Conference agenda this September 12-14.
From United Fresh: While immigration reform has been a frustrating issue for many in our industry, there are real efforts underway in Congress to show bi-partisan support for reforms to the current H-2A program. In recent years, we have seen significant increases in utilizing this program across the country. There has been a 50 percent increase since 2012 and expectations of up to 20 percent each year for the foreseeable future. Comprehensive immigration reform is still our ultimate goal, but it is apparent that for now H-2A is the only program that growers can use to find a viable and legal workforce, so it is essential that it be improved to meet growers’ needs.