California Ag and High-Tech Groups Join Forces To Push Immigration Reform

Two of California’s largest industry associations today announced a partnership aimed at raising awareness on Capitol Hill about the essential role immigrant labor plays in the success of our nation’s leadership in high-tech and agriculture.

The effort by the California Strawberry Commission and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group is intended to underscore the critical link between immigration and the success of the largest drivers of the economy, officials for both groups said.

Today’s announcement follows a joint letter they sent Monday to Congress on the issue.

“Our goods touch the lives of every American every day of the year — whether they are reading email, using a cell phone, opening a refrigerator, or enjoying a meal,” according to the letter. “None of this would be possible without the enormous contributions immigrants have made to our respective industries. They are essential and integral factors to our success.”

The groups are meeting jointly with lawmakers in Washington, D.C. this week. The Silicon Valley Leadership Group, founded in 1978 by David Packard of Hewlett-Packard, represents more than 375 of Silicon Valley’s most respected employers on issues, programs and campaigns that affect the economic health and quality of life in Silicon Valley.

“Comprehensive immigration reform is absolutely essential to the future job growth and the overall health of the American economy,” said Carl Guardino, CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. “It is critical that the House take action on it as soon as possible.”

According to the joint letter to Congress, high-tech and related emerging technologies in the next 12 years are anticipated to have an economic impact between $14 trillion and $33 trillion a year. Agriculture and related businesses account for about $10 trillion annually to the American economy; it employs just over one-sixth of the entire U.S. civilian labor force.

In addition to economic benefits to business, addressing immigration reform is critical for helping business solve many societal issues, including world hunger.

“Hard working immigrants harvest the food every day that feeds our country. They come to America knowing they take the hardest jobs in exchange for an opportunity to improve their lives. The taxes they pay create jobs for teachers; the food they harvest generates three more jobs. Some will work for the season and return home. Others will earn their way to citizenship,” said Rick Tomlinson, president of the strawberry commission. “As the grandson of a Bracero, I know that immigration reform will only strengthen our country and that without it our farms and our communities are at risk.”

Both Tomlinson and Guardino said that the U.S. is currently unable to meet the unique needs of their respective industries for innovation and manual labor.

According to their letter, “The last major immigration reform was 27 years ago, when a tablet described a pad of paper, not a touch-screen. If we fail to act now, it might be another couple of decades before we are able to adjust our immigration laws to meet the 21st century demands of our nation.

“For all these reasons, we respectfully ask that you employ the perseverance of a farm worker and the innovative thinking of a software engineer to honor America with immigration reform.”

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Citrus Stories
John Merritt
Citrus
February 15, 2017
Florida Citrus Community Loses Longtime Leader to Leukemia
John Merritt, known as an innovative grower and staunch industry advocate, was 60. Read More
Grower Jonathan Brown of Bethel Farms inspects his citrus grove.
Citrus
February 9, 2017
Florida Citrus Forecast Comes Full Circle With Latest Update
Amid up-and-down pattern, USDA puts all-orange production numbers back on target with initial estimate. Read More
Load of pot poorly camouflaged as Key limes
Citrus
February 8, 2017
Nearly Two Tons of Pot Plucked From Load of Key Limes
Shaped to resemble the tangy citrus fruit, law enforcement officials extract 34,764 packages allegedly filled with an ingredient not intended for pies. Read More
Citrus
February 5, 2017
New Product Helps Bees Brush Off Mites
A British company developed Bee Gym, distributed by Vita Ltd. Read More
Florida citrus grove
Citrus
February 3, 2017
Wonderful Citrus Stakes a Major Claim in the Sunshine State
Acquisition of the largest citrus marketer in Florida makes California company the crop’s top grower, shipper, and packer in the U.S. Read More
Alan Jones standing in a potato field
Citrus
February 2, 2017
Florida Seeking to Fete More Eco-Innovative Farmers
Nominations open for the Commissioner’s Agricultural-Environmental Award. Read More
UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center sign
Citrus
February 2, 2017
University of Florida Celebrating a Century of Citrus Research
Cheers all around for UF/IFAS' CREC, the largest facility in the world devoted to a single commodity. Read More
The Latest
Citrus
February 17, 2017
How Precision Agriculture Is Helping Far…
New Florida-based organization is seeking to break down barriers between farmers and shoppers by providing a platform to not only show what is grown, but how it's grown. Read More
Citrus
February 16, 2017
Food Trends Driving Growth Opportunities…
More niche markets emerging for growers to give consumers what they want and need. Read More
Citrus
February 15, 2017
Florida Citrus Community Loses Longtime …
John Merritt, known as an innovative grower and staunch industry advocate, was 60. Read More
Citrus
February 9, 2017
Florida Citrus Forecast Comes Full Circl…
Amid up-and-down pattern, USDA puts all-orange production numbers back on target with initial estimate. Read More
Citrus
February 8, 2017
Nearly Two Tons of Pot Plucked From Load…
Shaped to resemble the tangy citrus fruit, law enforcement officials extract 34,764 packages allegedly filled with an ingredient not intended for pies. Read More
Citrus
February 5, 2017
New Product Helps Bees Brush Off Mites
A British company developed Bee Gym, distributed by Vita Ltd. Read More
Citrus
February 3, 2017
Wonderful Citrus Stakes a Major Claim in…
Acquisition of the largest citrus marketer in Florida makes California company the crop’s top grower, shipper, and packer in the U.S. Read More
Citrus
February 2, 2017
Florida Seeking to Fete More Eco-Innovat…
Nominations open for the Commissioner’s Agricultural-Environmental Award. Read More
Citrus
February 2, 2017
University of Florida Celebrating a Cent…
Cheers all around for UF/IFAS' CREC, the largest facility in the world devoted to a single commodity. Read More
Citrus
January 30, 2017
List of Best College Farms Released
Website evaluated farms on sustainability factors, community programming, and courses available at the university or college farm, not just in the classroom. Read More
Citrus
January 30, 2017
Game Far From Over for Florida Citrus
Attendees of the 2017 Florida Citrus Show convene to commiserate over current challenges, vet future wins via new varieties. Read More
Citrus
January 25, 2017
Ban Lifted on USDA News Releases
Acting USDA deputy administrator says the practice is typical with new administration changes. Read More
Citrus
January 25, 2017
USDA-ARS to Halt Publishing News Release…
News media confirm report. Read More
Citrus
January 24, 2017
Trump Withdraws U.S. From Trans-Pacific …
Fresh produce export market to hit a wall with signing of executive order. Read More
Citrus
January 20, 2017
Farming Will Always Have a Place in Flor…
Growers are resilient and agriculture will survive in our state and elsewhere. It has to, if we want food on our plates. Read More
Citrus
January 19, 2017
Trump Taps Sonny Perdue for Secretary of…
Ag leaders applaud pick to head up USDA. Read More
Citrus
January 19, 2017
New York Representatives Introduce Bill …
Legislators say the move aligns the program in the department to better fit the needs of agriculture businesses. Read More
Citrus
January 19, 2017
New Technology Could Take Weather Intel …
Scientists aiming to make difficult climate-based production decisions easier for growers. Read More