The nation’s largest farm group and Iowa officials were among those unveiling a nationwide ad Thursday calling on Congress to pass immigration reform – an effort that so far has been bogged down by partisan wrangling in Washington.
The ad was released by the American Farm Bureau Federation and the Partnership for a New American Economy, which counts the mayor of Davenport and the head of the Greater Des Moines Partnership among its members. It shows a Texas farmer who had to destroy some of this crops because he was unable to find enough workers to harvest them.
“This ad sends a clear message to Congress – if you don’t fix our broken immigration system, it’s American farms that will feel the pain,” said John Feinblatt, chairman of the Partnership for a New American Economy. “Our farmers are struggling to do their jobs because they don’t have the workers they need. So while Congress does nothing to address agriculture labor shortages, farms fail, food rots, and we import more produce from overseas.”
The ad campaign is expected to be run in farm trade publications and state fairs, among other venues.
As Congress prepares to leave for a recess, and lawmakers ramp up campaigning ahead of the November election, those who follow the immigration debate are not optimistic that Washington will act on the controversial issue this year.