Friday, February 27, 2015

E- verify May Leave YOU Hungry

There is a lot of Hubba-Balloon happening about DHS funding, amnesty for illegal immigrants, and the E-Verify system. 
I state right away that I am all for safe, streamlined and systemic approach to allowing others to enter the USA!  But E- verify is not going to work! WHAT? You may say! 
Yeah, I want safety, but unless reform of the agricultural worker program (H2A) is undertaken then E-verify will put our food supply, jobs and heritage at risk. The simple fact is that most Americans do not want to do the tasks required in agriculture. They view it as below them and they are too good for manual labor whether skilled tasks or not. 

If E-verify goes into effect, upto 60% of the labor used on farms around the country will be delayed in arriving or not be available at all. 

I know this seems extreme, but it is true!  And comes because only 6-7% of the foreign agricultural labor enters the U.S. on an official H2A- seasonal Ag worker visa. The small percentage is a result of difficulty of the system. The expense and layers of governmental agency red tape. The system is very cumbersome. Add to that the lack of understanding of the need by the Dept. Of Labor and it is almost impossible to utilize the system and have it work in a timely manner.  

Some simple facts include:
**50-60% of all farm labor will no longer be available
** increase in food imports 
** food prices will rise approximately 6%
** food production will fall by $30-60 billion 
** increase in already unstable work force
** farms will decrease in profitability
** risk of drastic increase of food waste of planted lands and vast amounts of land will go unplanted 

So I ask, do we want to import workers or import food? Do you want to see a system that respects those that work to provide for others and better themselves  or one that ignores the needs of a business and livelihood sector in which we ALL depend on-- Agriculture ? 

Please let you House and Senate 
representatives know that Ag labor reform is essential and cannot be jeopardized by passing an enforcement only E-verify legislation.  Tell them to fight for a NO vote on The Legal Workforce Act.    

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