A panel recently addressed the issue of immigration reform at the American Farm Bureau Federation‘s 2017 Annual Convention & IDEAg Trade Show. Tom Hertz, an economist from the Department of Agriculture and Mark Delich, director of congressional affairs at FWD spoke to the attendees about the economic and political realities of the issue, as well as some proposed reforms.
Hertz broke down trends in the farm workforce– declining immigration rate and rising labor costs, aging farming population, as well as possible expansion of the H2A program. Delich focused on the political landscape, talking about creating an organization that supports comprehensive immigration reform.
“We’re a nation started by immigrants,” Delich said. “It’s important to start the reform discussion by looking at the overall benefits of immigration—the entrepreneurship, work ethic and innovation immigrants bring—and we want to see that continue. […] Your members of Congress need to hear directly from you on this issue and why it’s important to you.”
Listen to the panel discussion here: AFBF Immigration Reform Session