Below is American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman’s response of President Obama immigration initiative:
“In practical terms, we do not expect the president’s initiative to help America’s farmers deal with the real labor challenges they face. Our nation loses millions of dollars in fruit and vegetable production every year because farmers cannot find labor to harvest everything they grow. This order will not change that.
“Farmers and ranchers need a new, flexible visa program that ensures long-term access to an expanding workforce by allowing foreign-born workers to enter the U.S. We also need to permit some current workers, many of whom have helped sustain our operations for years, to remain working in America.
“Congress has a golden opportunity to present a clear vision on immigration in America. We need legislation that addresses border security and enforcement, improves an outdated agricultural visa program and gives experienced agricultural workers a way to gain legal status.
“Congress and the president must work together to find a solution that works for America. The American Farm Bureau Federation will work closely with anyone who supports agricultural labor reform.”