Last week, the U.S. Senate reintroduced S.1038, the Agricultural Job Opportunity, Benefits and Security Act of 2009 . With facts, charts, posters and passion, Sen. Dianne Feinstein painted a picture of the realities confronting nursery, greenhouse, dairy, fruit, and vegetable farms and farm workers. As she spoke, House champions Reps. Adam Putnam and Howard Berman read a companion bill for the House.
The American Nursery and Landscape Association’s  two biggest goals relating to immigration reform are passage of the AgJOBS bill and meaningful H-2B reform. ANLA co-chairs the Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform, which negotiated AgJOBS, and has become a major galvanizing force in the push for meaningful labor reform.
According to Craig Regelbrugge, ACIR co-chair and ANLA vice president for government relations, it is remarkable that the AgJOBS agreement between farm worker advocates and farm employer groups has stood the test of time, despite the shifting political climate.
“ANLA is grateful for the political leadership of Sen. Feinstein, Reps. Berman and Putnam, and other Members of Congress who have the courage to stand up for what’s right and good for the nation,” Regelbrugge said.
AgJOBS could be considered by Congress later this year as part of a broader immigration debate, or as a key component of a smaller incremental step forward.