United Fresh Urges Congress To Act On Immigration Reform

United Fresh Produce AssociationThe United Fresh Produce Association recently urged the House of Representatives to take up immigration reform, rather than cede all action to the Obama Administration. In response to a White House last Friday that there will not be further action in Congress this year on immigration reform, United Fresh President & CEO Tom Stenzel issued the following statement:

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“We appreciate President Obama’s commitment to try to address our broken immigration policy through executive action, but urge the House of Representatives not to abandon their responsibility to address this serious issue. If the House continues to disregard its responsibility to address this issue, the produce industry has no choice but to work with the Administration on short-term administrative patches that will be appreciated, but are ultimately unsatisfactory.”

“It is a basic fact that we face a declining and inadequate workforce to harvest and distribute U.S. grown fruits and vegetables. Congressional inaction on immigration reform is driving fruit and vegetable production out of the United States, costing U.S. consumers and farmers millions of dollars, and eliminating jobs across the produce supply chain. United Fresh remains committed to working with any member of Congress – and the Administration – to drive meaningful immigration reform.”

Source: United Fresh Produce Association

 

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Avatar for Matt Matt says:

United Fresh is going to get severe public backlash if they keep pushing this “immigration reform” agenda. Most of the US public is sick of the illegal invasion of our country.

Why doesn’t United Fresh push a “Jobs for Americans” program. There are plenty of out of work Americans who need a job. Along with that, how about lobbying congress to force all imported produce to follow ALL of the same rules that US producers must follow?

Beyond that, it just sounds like United Fresh wants cheap labor to exploit to make a buck. Yea, that is a real good reason for “immigration reform.”

Avatar for Theresalynn0727 Theresalynn0727 says:

Matt,

There is a program that offers jobs to U.S. workers, and if they turn them down, it allows the employer to bring workers from outside of the U.S. to do them. That program has wage rates as high as $13.41 an hour. Even with that high wage, agriculture employers can’t get U.S. workers to take the jobs. This program however needs to be fixed. There are a lot of red tape and farmers have to begin the process so far in advance, often before their current crop is done, to start planning for the next year.

While there may be plenty of jobs, U.S. workers have become “lazy”. Why would you want to work in a hot dirty field doing back breaking work when I can sit on my couch and draw money from the government. My husband is the manager of low income apartments, and those people have their rent, and lights paid. They only have to pay for the water bill out of their $800 a month check and they whine and complain about that $50 bill. Most of them are perfectly capable of working, but will tell you, I can’t let them see me carry that case of beer, I get disability and if they see me doing anything they will take my benefits away.

I’m a farmers daughter and I have seen over the years people that want to work and get paid everyday, and not show back up until they have spent what they made and need more. They also want to be paid $12 an hour to pick vegetables, that they will be lucky to get that much for. Can you image running any business at all when you don’t know how many employees you are going to have from one day to the next. What if you have hay to get out of the field and its due to rain for the next week and no one reports to work that day.

High school and college kids won’t do the work anymore. Use to when school was out you had kids lining up to work, now they want to sit in the house and play video games all day, or they are content with “would you like fries with that?”

This country needs to stop giving hand outs. Pay your own way, fine you can’t work lifting heavy stuff, you can stand at the courthouse and direct people where to go. You can stand for long, then sit on a stool, “welcome to Wal-Mart”.

We need to secure our borders and get these illegal individuals out of the country, fix the guest worker program, and stop giving people something for nothing.

Avatar for highwaybum highwaybum says:

Totally agree, from the lazy generation that was created by the generation before them. I too am a farmer’s daughter, married a farmer, have kids that are in farming. We have always needed a “skilled, reliable work force” to plant, harvest, and pack the various crops that we raised. We still do, but that labor force has dried up due to government interference and public outcry that has very little to do with the workforce in agriculture. We never asked our workers to do anything that we wouldn’t do ourselves. Unemployed and students do not want to work, nor do they have to, they walk to the mailbox. Those immigrants, illegal or not, want and know the skills required to do farm work; those are the ones that we need. This should not be a complicated problem, the percentages are very small. Its the open borders, the criminals, the children coming across those open borders that are creating the problems, not the farm workers. This is not a humanatarian situation, this is a crisis situation. The USA has never been able to take care of their own, let alone border crossers from several different nations. Those nations are responsible, not America!

Avatar for ronnie duckworth ronnie duckworth says:

cut out the welfare, and our workforce will be fine without bringing in people from other countries,becoming a welfare state is going to be America’s downfall. Mr. Stenzel, maybe you should move your operation to Mexico, that way the American people would not have to educate,and take care of the people that picks your fruit. I just get sick of seeing people that has never paid a penny in taxes walk around in grocery stores with a full buggy of groceries, and get to the check out and pull out there peach card. Yes sir Mr. Stenzel keep on bringing in your cheap labor to America, and soon there won’t be an America. You should be lobbying Congress to cut out all these welfare checks to people that could be picking your fruit, instead of bringing more people in to recieve more welfare checks. God Bless America

Avatar for Southern Tier Farmer Southern Tier Farmer says:

What I find incredible is how all the groups that want “Immigration Reform” think the average American is so stupid as to believe it is not “amnesty”. You want reform? First start with a clean bill that secures the border. If you can’t farm with LEGAL migrants then find another profession. Second we ditch the stupid H2A program. No more paying the way for migrants and providing housing and etc for them. Third, institute a program for welfare recipients that would provide them a better reason to work for these farmers. These jobs for the most part are temporary and the welfare recipients need something a bit more permanent. Also start cutting the benefits received. A little hunger is not a bad thing and being on welfare should not be comfortable. Fourth, provide farmers with an incentive to hire an American over a migrant. Fifth, if we need migrants then it shouldn’t be the whole family but individuals who have a limited time pass to enter, work, then leave. No staying for more than a year. Go to MI and check out all the migrant benefits. From head start to special school years using the public school system, to migrant medical centers. If you are not a migrant you CANNOT use these facilities although you pay for them. There is also the problem that even if an American would work on a farm he would have to work beside the migrants who will not be friendly towards someone who is “taking their job”. Let’s not forget that if these people are allowed amnesty do you think they will continue to work in the fields? HA, they will do what many are doing now and find higher wage less demanding jobs and eventually they will not want to do the work they used to come here to do.