Dairy Leaders Call on Republicans to Pass Guest Worker Bill
Dairy leaders are calling on Congressional House Leadership, i.e. Republicans, to pass a guest worker program yet this summer after a more comprehensive immigration bill failed yesterday on a 121 to 301 vote.
“We are extremely concerned that Congress removed a bill that could have provided us the first solution in over 30 years,” says Laurie Fischer, CEO of the American Dairy Coalition. “We urge House Leadership to make good on a previous promise to provide a separate stand-alone guest worker program solution before the August recess.
The AG Act, which was stripped from the failed immigration bill, would have allowed foreign-born dairy workers to apply for H2C visas, which in turn would allow them to stay in the United States year-round on at least a 36-month, renewable visa, with some touchback provisions that would require them to leave the country for a total of 45 days during that time.
Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation, is also hopeful Congress will re-visit the immigration issue later this summer. “We know there are many [House] members in both parties who are eager to forge solutions to these complicated issues, and we are hopeful that this is not the end of the process. Dairy cannot wait any longer,” he says.