The Society of American Florists (SAF) is waiting for the final two weeks in May when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has scheduled floor time to debate immigration legislation. Negotiations still have not produced a comprehensive immigration reform bill. SAF has learned, however, that some language has been drafted.
Two new cosponsors to the AgJOBS bill have been gained: Representatives Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and John Shimkus (R-Ill.). Lofgren is the chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims. SAF continued efforts to gather cosponsors for the AgJOBS bill in the House last week by meeting with staffs of several conservative-to-moderate Blue Dog Democrats.
Also, the House Immigration Subcommittee held two hearings this week: one on the Basic Pilot program and one on what new employment eligibility verification system (EEVS) should look like. The U.S. Chamber testified on behalf of the Essential Worker Immigration Coalition (EWIC).
To maximize SAF’s influence for the upcoming immigration debate on the Senate side of Capitol Hill, the Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform and the National Council of Agricultural Employers are sponsoring a Lobby Day on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, May 16, to deliver the message that any immigration reform bill that passes Congress must address American agriculture’s situation and must ensure access to a legal workforce. Click here  to register your organization. The United Fresh Produce Association is coordinating hotel and scheduling logistics. SAF encourages members to consider participating in this event.
To learn more, visit www.safnow.org .