Negotiations over an agriculture immigration reform bill in the House are drawing to a close. It is likely that a bipartisan bill will be introduced by House Immigration Subcommittee Chair Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) shortly.
This action comes on the heels of the effort in the last Congress by Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) to begin to deal with the crisis. However, certain agriculture groups are already expressing their opposition to the bill even as a broad coalition works to move the process forward.
“The fact that neither this year’s bill nor its predecessor was perfect at the beginning is not necessarily a negative. Both bills sought to start a legislative process by attempting to pass something in the House of Representatives. Without successfully completing that step, no further steps are possible,” said NPC CEO Kam Quarles.
The Administration has sought to provide some regulatory relief, but those efforts are limited by the impaired structure of our immigration laws and the H-2A program. The fundamental structure can be changed only by Congress, so the solution requires their action.
“We accept imperfection at the beginning of writing other legislation like the Farm Bill, point out the problems and work each succeeding step to get to a final workable law. Demanding perfect bills on immigration reform at the very beginning ensures we remain stuck with the current situation,” said Quarles.