Most of us in agriculture have known for many, many years that our country’s immigration system needed to be revised and updated. A recent survey of the Partnership for a New American Economy found that voters want Congress to act on immigration reform this year with 71 percent of those surveyed stating it was important. Roger Bairstow, Broetje Orchard’s Director of Corporate Responsibility, shares two points as to why the broken immigration system needs to be fixed and a bill addressing the immigration reform must be passed before the August Congressional recess.
Bairstow: “One, if we want to continue to be the great country we are, we need to be thinking future forward which means that if we want to continue to be the great producer of agricultural produce and not importing food. We need to be conscious of the fact that we need a labor supply that is actually willing to do the work. Secondly, that need is not just within agriculture. We have high tech, we have the construction industry, and the service industry are all saying the same thing, ‘We need the right people, with the right skills in the right job.’”
He says one of the leaders in the California fresh produce industry shared a very provoking thought during congressional testimony.