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June 3, 2014

Farm Bureau Sees New Window of Opportunity for Immigration Reform

For more information on Newsline, contact: Kari Barbic, Media Specialist, American Farm Bureau Federation, karib@fb.org.

Immigration reform is a top priority for the American Farm Bureau. AFBF ag labor specialist Kristi Boswell says Farm Bureau has been working very hard to see reform move forward and now there is a window of opportunity for the House to act before the August recess. Seanica Otterby has the story.
OtterbyImmigration reform is an emotional and political issue, according to Kristi Boswell, American Farm Bureau ag labor specialist. While many were skeptical of immigration reform occurring at all this year due to 2014 being an election year, Boswell says polling shows immigration reform isn’t impacting voters’ decisions.
BoswellAlso, I think some of the pressure on the president from his base, pushing him to do something administratively, we see that as a reason for the House to act and House Republicans to have a mark on this issue.
OtterbyBoswell says it’s clear the House will take a different approach on reform from the Senate, but there are key elements that must be included for agriculture to be on board.
BoswellSo long as our current workforce and a work authorization for our current workforce and a new flexible guestworker program are included in those pieces, we’re supportive of that effort.
OtterbyThe grassroots effort is critical at this point, Boswell says.
BoswellFarm Bureau has been working very closely in campaigns and also continue to do outreach in districts to make sure members in D.C. know that their farmers are on board with immigration reform as well. I would encourage all farmers to touch base with your member of Congress. Tell your story. It really matters what constituents are saying at home, so we need that push to make members of Congress know that we need immigration reform this year.
OtterbySeanica Otterby, Washington.

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