Obama on immigration
Created by rrummel on 7/9/2014 3:13:41 PM

Makes Plan for Executive Action


Soon after Speaker of theHouse John Boehner (D-Ohio) told President Barack Obama that he would not bringimmigration legislation to the House floor this year, Obama announced his plansto take administration action on the issue, with a focus on border security.

Specifically, the presidentis expected to direct Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and AttorneyGeneral Eric Holder to shift immigration enforcement resources from theinterior section of the United States to the border. In addition, Obama isasking administration officials to send to him by the end of the summerrecommendations on additional actions he can pursue that do not require theapproval of Congress.

"Farmers, ranchers andmany others worked tirelessly with senators to secure passage of immigrationreform legislation that met agriculture's labor needs, as well as ensured asecure border. Since passage of that bill last June we have focused all ourefforts to do the same by working with House lawmakers to pass responsibleimmigration reform," said Kristi Boswell, American Farm Bureau Federationlabor specialist.  "The only long-term solution to agriculture'sserious labor problem can be provided by Congress, and that's where we'llcontinue to focus."

A farm labor study releasedearlier this year by AFBF showed an approach to agricultural labor reform thatfocuses solely on immigration enforcement would raise food prices over fiveyears by an additional 5 percent to 6 percent and would cut the nation's foodand fiber production by as much as a staggering $60 billion.

In June 2013, the Senatepassed the Farm Bureau-supported Border Security, Economic Opportunity andImmigration Modernization Act of 2013 (S. 744), a balanced immigration reformbill that includes a fair and workable farm labor provision.

The House had started work onthe issue, taking a piece-by-piece approach with the House Judiciary Committeeapproving a series of immigration reform bills, including the AgriculturalGuestworker Act (H.R. 1773), the Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement Act (H.R.2278), the Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 1772) and the Supplying Knowledge BasedImmigrants and Lifting Levels of STEM Visas Act (H.R. 2131). In addition, theHouse Homeland Security Committee approved the Border Security Results Act of2013 (H.R. 1417).