Share

Rep. Newhouse Leads Letter with Over 60 Members Calling for Agricultural Labor Reforms to Accompany E-Verify Measures

March 30, 2015
Press Release
Rep. Newhouse leads request to Speaker Boehner and House Judiciary Committee Chairman

Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) led a bipartisan letter signed by 61 House Members to Speaker Boehner and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) requesting that agricultural labor reforms that give farmers access to a legal, reliable and stable workforce accompany implementation of measures to stem the flow of illegal immigration:

“We understand the House Committee on the Judiciary has begun consideration of immigration enforcement legislation,” the Members wrote. “While we agree with the need to stem the flow of illegal immigration and are supportive of measures like E-Verify, implementing mandatory E-Verify without also enacting strong reforms ensuring our farmers have access to a legal, reliable and stable workforce will cause serious problems for our domestic agricultural industry and our nation’s economy.  The H-2A program is unworkable and as a result supplies only 10% of agricultural workers – while dairy is not allowed to participate at all – and the current program simply does not have the capacity to increase by ten-fold. In short, agriculture needs a solution that addresses the unique aspects of its workforce and ensures a legal, reliable workforce in both the short and long term.” 

The Members continue in the letter:

“Our farmers and ranchers must have access to a legal and reliable workforce in order to provide the world with a safe and abundant supply of food.  It is imperative that any effort to implement mandatory E-Verify be coupled with a solution to agriculture’s unique labor needs.   Failure to couple these reforms together would create an unworkable situation for American agriculture.   We stand ready to work with you to ensure enforcement of our immigration laws while also implementing critically needed reforms for agriculture labor.”  

The full text of the letter and the list of signers in alphabetical order are included below.

 

March 30, 2015

 

The Honorable John A. Boehner                                                               The Honorable Bob Goodlatte

Speaker                                                                                                               Chairman, Committee on Judiciary

U.S. House of Representatives                                                  U.S. House of Representatives

H-232, The Capitol                                                                                           2138 Rayburn House Office Bldg

Washington, DC  20515                                                                  Washington, DC  20515

 

Dear Speaker Boehner and Chairman Goodlatte:

        

We represent a substantial amount of our nation’s agricultural community.  As you know, our nation’s farmers and ranchers are the backbone of our economy and are responsible for feeding billions of people, both in our country and around the world.  This is a great responsibility and requires the use of both our natural resources and our human resources.  Agriculture is a labor intensive industry and even in tough economic times there remains a shortage of domestic labor. 

            We understand the House Committee on the Judiciary has begun consideration of immigration enforcement legislation.  While we agree with the need to stem the flow of illegal immigration and are supportive of measures like E-Verify, implementing mandatory E-Verify without also enacting strong reforms ensuring our farmers have access to a legal, reliable and stable workforce will cause serious problems for our domestic agricultural industry and our nation’s economy.  The H-2A program is unworkable and as a result supplies only 10% of agricultural workers – while dairy is not allowed to participate at all – and the current program simply does not have the capacity to increase by ten-fold.  In short, agriculture needs a solution that addresses the unique aspects of its workforce and ensures a legal, reliable workforce in both the short and long term. 

Our farmers and ranchers must have access to a legal and reliable workforce in order to provide the world with a safe and abundant supply of food.  It is imperative that any effort to implement mandatory E-Verify be coupled with a solution to agriculture’s unique labor needs.   Failure to couple these reforms together would create an unworkable situation for American agriculture.   We stand ready to work with you to ensure enforcement of our immigration laws while also implementing critically needed reforms for agriculture labor.  

            We appreciate your attention to this request and we stand ready to work with you. 

Sincerely,

 

  1. Rep. Ralph Abraham, M.D. (R-LA)
  2. Rep. Mark E. Amodei (R-NV)
  3. Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY)
  4. Rep. Dan Benishek (R-MI)
  5. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR)
  6. Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL)
  7. Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO)
  8. Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN)
  9. Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA)
  10. Rep. Earl L. ‘Buddy’ Carter (R-GA)
  11. Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY)
  12. Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA)
  13. Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR)
  14. Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL)
  15. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL)
  16. Rep. Jeff Denham, (R-CA)
  17. Rep. Charles W. Dent (R-PA)
  18. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, M.D. (R-TN)
  19. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL)
  20. Rep. Sean P. Duffy (R-WI)
  21. Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC)
  22. Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA)
  23. Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY)
  24. Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY)
  25. Rep. Andy Harris, M.D. (R-MD)
  26. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA)
  27. Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC)
  28. Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI)
  29. Rep. David P. Joyce (R-OH)
  30. Rep. John Katko (R-NY)
  31. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL)
  32. Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA)
  33. Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI)
  34. Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA)
  35. Rep. Frank A. LoBiondo (R-NJ)
  36. Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ)
  37. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)
  38. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC)
  39. Rep. Luke Messer (R-IN)
  40. Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA)
  41. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA)
  42. Rep. Collin C. Peterson (D-MN)
  43. Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA)
  44. Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY)
  45. Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA)
  46. Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI)
  47. Rep. Tom Rooney (R-FL)
  48. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
  49. Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL)
  50. Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR)
  51. Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA)
  52. Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID)
  53. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY)
  54. Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN)
  55. Rep. Glenn 'GT' Thompson (R-PA)
  56. Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI)
  57. Rep. David G. Valadao (R-CA)
  58. Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR)
  59. Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR)
  60. Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL)
  61. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY)