Monday, April 15, 2013

Agriculture Workforce Coalition Statement on Immigration Agreement


WineAmerica is a member of the Agriculture Workforce Coalition

Washington, D.C. (April 12, 2013)—“The Agriculture Workforce Coalition (AWC) today
welcomed an agreement on immigration reform reached by the AWC, the United Farm
Workers (UFW) and key Senators engaged in the process. The framework and objectives of this agreement represent a positive step toward providing America’s farmers and ranchers access to a legal workforce now and in the future.

“The coalition is committed to including an agricultural guest worker program and supporting
the general framework negotiated in any final immigration reform package. As members of
Congress begin the process of drafting legislative language, we look forward to working with
them to ensure that the bill details reflect the goals and intent of this framework agreement.

“The AWC appreciates the efforts of Senators Dianne Feinstein, Marco Rubio, Orrin Hatch and Michael Bennet in helping to foster this agreement between agriculture employers and farm workers

“For many farmers across the country, finding a sufficient number of workers to harvest crops
or care for animals is the biggest challenge they face in running their businesses. There is a
shortage of U.S. workers willing and able to perform farm work. Securing a reliable and
competent workforce for our nation’s farms and ranches is essential to ensuring that American consumers continue to enjoy abundant and affordable food on their grocery store shelves.”

About the Agriculture Workforce Commission

The Agriculture Workforce Coalition (AWC) brings together organizations representing the diverse needs of the agriculture employees across the country.  AWC serves as the unified voice of agriculture in the effort to ensure that America's farmers, ranchers and growers have access to a stable and secure workforce.

To help achieve this goal, the AWC has developed a framework that presents a viable solution to agriculture's labor needs.  The proposal includes both an earned adjustment in status for current agricultural employees who presently lack legal status and a program to ensure an adequate farm workforce in the future.  Also, unlike current programs such as H-2A, the AWC proposal is meant to ensure that all types of producers--including both those with seasonal labor needs and ones with year-round labor needs--have access to the workforce they need to remain productive and competitive.

To learn more about AWC, visit our website at www.agworkforcecoalition.org.


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