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Concerns About Ag Provisions in Immigration Bill

Cindy Zimmerman

chamblissAs the Senate prepares to vote on comprehensive immigration reform today, Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) took to the floor Wednesday evening to detail some of his concerns about the farm worker provisions in the bill and amendments that he wanted to see added.

The Georgia senator’s main issues center around requirements under the “Blue Card” program the new legislation would set up that he feels could add too many farm workers and ultimately make it easier for them to move out of agriculture and into other areas of employment.

“Because of the way the blue card program is set up, I’m afraid we’re providing too strong an incentive for people who did very minimal or even no work in agriculture to access the program, and that we’ll end up with more ag workers than we need,” said Chambliss. “Then because the work requirements are so low, once folks get the blue card, they’ll perform the minimal amount of work required and move on to a different job.”

Chambliss spent time detailing the amendments he would like to offer that would fix some of the concerns he has and he is disappointed they will not be considered. “The ag portion of this bill is a critical piece of the legislation and I’m afraid it’s been overshadowed by some of the other issues,” he said. “Ultimately, I want what’s best for American agriculture.”

Listen to or download – Senator Saxby Chambliss 6/26/13

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