Dem Immigration Bill Does Not Solve Nation’s Ag Labor Shortage
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Ted S. Yoho (R-FL) released the following statement after voting no on H.R. 5038, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act.
“I worked in the Ag community for over 30 years, and while this bill aims to address the labor shortage in U.S. agriculture, the bill falls short. Unfortunately, it appears that the primary objective of this bill is to provide amnesty for individuals who came to this country and are living here illegally.
“No one knows for sure how many people would be granted amnesty under this bill, and that is extremely concerning. While I support providing legal certainty with appropriate penalties for individuals who help our producers on the farm, the solution is not to fast-track legal permanent residency or citizenship.
“Instead, we should allow individuals to come forward, face appropriate penalties, and be eligible to participate in our nation’s temporary foreign worker program.
Additionally, we must enhance our nation’s border security so the issue of illegal immigration can be solved. Otherwise, our nation will continue to find ourselves in the same situation.
“Apart from massive amnesty, this bill would not solve the labor shortage in American agriculture. The bill does not modify the Adverse Effect Wage Rate nearly enough to provide relief for our producers. The bill does not redefine “agricultural labor or services” to cover all our producers who are unable to currently use the H-2A program.
“Apart from granting amnesty to potentially millions of people who are living and working in the U.S. illegally, like Congress did in 1986, I am convinced that this bill would not fulfill the labor needs of our nation’s producers.
“Granting amnesty to individuals in one industry would be a mistake and would signal to individuals across the world that there will be no repercussions for entering the United States illegally.
" I oppose this bill and I’m offering a solution in our Ag guest worker legislation that this Administration can support to help our nation’s producers. We as a nation have a choice – we can either import our food or import our labor. A nation that does not have food security is not a secure nation.”