Ag Today February 22, 2018

Local farm bureau supports state bureau, speaks against proposed immigration reform

By: Melissa Hartman
POSTED: FEB 21 2018 04:12PM PST

Local farm bureaus like Monterey County Farm Bureau are standing in solidarity with the California Farm Bureau Federation’s statements issued today against the proposed immigration act that stands before Congress.

The federation stated that they do not support a part of the House Resolution 4760, also known as the Securing America’s Future Act, that addresses agricultural employees.

The Agricultural Guestworker Act, or AG Act, would create a new agricultural visa program, according to federation President Jamie Johansson.

In the current draft, the AG Act would mandate the use of E-Verify electronic workplace eligibility, which would affect a large portion of current agricultural employees, Johansson said.

“As now written, the AG Act just wouldn’t work for California farms and ranches,” Johansson said in the statement. “There’s a longstanding need to create a workable temporary-visa program for agriculture that provides greater stability and opportunities for agricultural employees and their families.”

Monterey County Farm Bureau director Norm Groot said that the bureau has been involved in discussion on this legislation for the last few years and agrees that there are too many provisions to the AG Act.

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