Senate Group Reaches Agreement on Immigration Reform
Friday, April 12, 2013
Posted by: ANLA-OFA Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC - The American Nursery & Landscape Association (ANLA) and its partner, OFA – The Association of Horticulture Professionals, applaud a landmark agreement in principle on the agricultural provisions of the Senate immigration reform bill.
The agreement was reached earlier today by the Agriculture Workforce Coalition (AWC), of which ANLA is a founding member; the United Farm Workers (UFW); and key Senators engaged in the process. The framework and objectives of this agreement represent a major step toward ensuring that America’s farmers and ranchers as well as nursery, greenhouse, and Christmas tree growers have access to a legal workforce now and in the future.
"We are deeply appreciative of the leadership efforts of Senators Dianne Feinstein, Marco Rubio, Orrin Hatch, and Michael Bennet for their steadfast help toward fostering the agreement between agricultural employers and farm workers,” said Craig Regelbrugge, ANLA vice president for government relations and research. "We also thank all members of the Senate Gang of Eight for their commitment to modernizing America’s immigration system to better serve our nation’s interests.”
The agricultural framework agreement includes a new, more flexible and market-oriented agricultural worker program. It would also provide an earned residency solution for experienced farm workers who meet several conditions, including fulfilling a future agricultural work requirement. ANLA has been deeply involved in the effort to shape and advance key elements of a solution over many years. Soon, it will be time for ANLA and OFA members, along with state horticulture industry associations and the industry at large to urge Congress to act.
ANLA and OFA will support inclusion of this joint agreement in any final immigration reform package. "The agreement reflects the unique challenges facing many of our member employers, and offers solutions directly addressing those needs,” said Michael V. Geary, CAE, chief executive of both ANLA and OFA. "We look forward to bringing enthusiastic support to immigration reform this year.”