Congressman Rick W. Allen (GA-12), a member of the House Agriculture Committee, today released the following statement after opposing H.R. 1603, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act:
“America’s farmers rely heavily on temporary agriculture workers - who obtain visas legally - to plant and harvest crops, and they’ve continued to face challenges and delays under current programs that are meant to help fulfill these unique workforce needs. But rather than working on a bipartisan solution to reform these programs, House Democrats are advancing a proposal that will ultimately incentivize illegal immigration and grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.
“Congress can focus on addressing farmers’ workforce needs without granting mass amnesty. At a time when we should be addressing the ongoing crisis at our southern border, this bill will only exacerbate the situation and send the wrong message that our borders are open.”
The bill would create a new “certified agricultural worker” status for agricultural workers, but they must be here illegally in order to qualify. Once certified, they are protected from deportation - even after the agriculture season ends - and their children and spouses can qualify for amnesty too.
Congressman Allen recently introduced the Better Agriculture Resources Now (BARN) Act, legislation to reform and strengthen the H-2A visa program that allows agriculture employers to hire workers for temporary labor.
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