Obama on immigration

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

Makes Plan for Executive Action

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

Specifically, the president is expected to direct Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Attorney General Eric Holder to shift immigration enforcement resources from the interior section of the United States to the border. In addition, Obama is asking administration officials to send to him by the end of the summer recommendations on additional actions he can pursue that do not require the approval of Congress.

"Farmers, ranchers and many others worked tirelessly with senators to secure passage of immigration reform legislation that met agriculture's labor needs, as well as ensured a secure border. Since passage of that bill last June we have focused all our efforts to do the same by working with House lawmakers to pass responsible immigration reform," said Kristi Boswell, American Farm Bureau Federation labor specialist.  "The only long-term solution to agriculture's serious labor problem can be provided by Congress, and that's where we'll continue to focus."

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

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

The House had started work on the issue, taking a piece-by-piece approach with the House Judiciary Committee approving a series of immigration reform bills, including the Agricultural Guestworker Act (H.R. 1773), the Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement Act (H.R. 2278), the Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 1772) and the Supplying Knowledge Based Immigrants and Lifting Levels of STEM Visas Act (H.R. 2131). In addition, the House Homeland Security Committee approved the Border Security Results Act of 2013 (H.R. 1417).

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