May 23, 2008
May 23, 2008 - The Senate Appropriations Committee, on May 15, with a bipartisan basis approved legislation sponsored by U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) and Larry Craig (Idaho) that would provide emergency relief to the nation's current agriculture labor shortage. The legislation was offered as an amendment to the Iraq supplemental spending bill.
The Emergency Agriculture Relief Act (EARA) would grant temporary, limited immigration status for experienced farm workers who would be required to continue to work in American agriculture for the next five years. This legislation was designed to address the perennial shortage of agriculture workers.
This week, the EARA amendment was removed from the supplemental spending bill. Many strong immigrant-rights advocates demand that comprehensive reform be addressed and oppose targeted legislation to address certain sectors of the economy, such as EARA.
"ASI worked with the National Milk Producers Federation to support the Senate legislation as it codified long standing practices of the H2A sheepherder program," commented Peter Orwick, executive director for the American Sheep Industry Association. Staff contact: Peter Orwick, ext. 33