ANLA Presses the Case for Immigration Reform
Monday, May 20, 2013
Posted by: Jonathan Bardzik, ANLA
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The powerful U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee is beginning its third week considering S.744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013.
In the House of Representatives, a bipartisan negotiating group has announced a "meeting of the minds” on its own comprehensive immigration framework.
And, on May 16, a House Judiciary subcommittee held hearings on an E-Verify bill as well as an agricultural guest worker proposal.
With this intense legislative activity underway, ANLA and green industry grassroots partners continue to mobilize to press the case for Congressional action, this summer. On May 14, dozens of pro-reform law enforcement officials from around the country attended a White House immigration briefing led by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, and fanned out for Senate and House meetings with legislators.
Among the officials was Fresno County (CA) Sheriff Margaret Mims. ANLA’s vice president for government relations, Craig Regelbrugge, accompanied Mims to the White House briefing and several lobbying visits with House Republicans.
"Mims was a very effective advocate for immigration reform,” said Regelbrugge. "On visit after visit, she explained how the criminal element in her large and diverse county is preying on unauthorized farm workers. Crimes ranging from theft to sexual assault are going unreported because the victims themselves are afraid to come forward.” With agriculture being the backbone of her jurisdiction, the local economy desperately needs a modernized immigration system as well.
At Thursday’s House hearing on E-Verify, the landscape and nursery industry was ably represented by Dominick Mondi, executive director of the New Jersey Nursery & Landscape Association. Mondi explained how good reform will level the playing field and benefit all facets of the green industry. But, he said, E-Verify enacted in a vacuum would be very harmful. An improved E-Verify program is an important component of a comprehensive immigration modernization.
With the immigration issue now on the Senate stage, now is a good time to visit the ANLA/Lighthouse Legislative Action Center at www.capwiz.com/anla/home/ to send a personalized message to your U.S. Senators and Representative.