Clements: The map created by American Farm Bureau Federation partner the New American Economy shows the contributions immigrants are making to the U.S. economy. AFBF congressional relations director Kristi Boswell says the map is a powerful tool in the immigration reform debate.
Boswell: Farm Bureau sees this as a very important tool as we’re advocating for responsible immigration reform that provides agriculture access to a legal, stable workforce, allowing us to really drill down and show members of Congress the impact in their local areas.
Clements: The map provides statistics on foreign-born residents, taxes they have paid and the percentage of immigrants within the workforce. Boswell says the tool also includes personal stories about the impacts of immigration.
Boswell: It also provided the opportunity for a lot of Farm Bureau members to record videos. So not only are there statistics, but there are also videos about why immigration is important to people, whether that be on the agricultural scope, or the construction industry, or other areas of business. So not only are you getting numbers, but you are getting the real-life, personal stories.
Clements: With a renewed focus on immigration reform in Washington, D.C., Boswell says the map is a great tool to help ensure agriculture’s needs are met in immigration reform.
Boswell: It is at an all-time high for a need that Congress pass responsible immigration reform. This tool allows us to continue to build that case in using economic data, talking about jobs, talking about the impacts on the local communities and especially in rural America. It’s really exciting to have this at our fingertips. And, we are really excited to share the tool and to utilize it in all of our Hill visits and farm tours where members of Congress are coming out to tour our farms.
Clements: Find the map online at www.newamericaneconomy.org. Micheal Clements, Washington.
Communications Assistant, AFBF