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Northwest Iowa Dairy Outlooks

A local discussion of current science and issues concerning dairying in northwest iowa

Category Archives: Immigration

There is some fear President Trump’s stance on immigration could heavily impact the availability of immigrants, it seems a new Senate bill will also be cause for concern. The new bill called the ‘Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment Act’ is sponsored by senators Tom Cotton (R-AK) and David Perdue (R-GA). The pair of senators say the bill aims to “reduce the influx of workers drastically in hopes to reserve jobs for low skilled American workers.”

If passed, the bill would make getting a visa harder, placing restrictions and caps on some visa categories and eliminating others all together. Proponents of the bill say it will provide opportunity for Americans who can’t currently find jobs. Those who oppose the bill are concerned with the bill as many well-paying jobs in the agriculture industry already go unfilled year after year.

“One thing is clear, jobs on the farm are not desirable to most American workers regardless of wage and benefits,” officials from the American Dairy Coalition say. “This bill restricts the ability of farmers to have access to a safe, legal workforce.”

The Coalition is urging dairy producers to contact their Senators to express concern with the bill.

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U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, the Republican from Kansas, and chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture Nutrition and Forestry announced last week that the first hearing in the country on the 2018 Farm Bill reauthorization will be Feb. 23 on the Kansas State campus in Manhattan, KS. The time has not be announced.

Beth Doran and Fred M. Hall, Northwest Iowa livestock and dairy specialists will host the live webinar in the basement meeting room at the Sioux County Extension office. No registration is required, but seating will be on a first come basis. The time of the hearing will be announced as soon as it is released.

Roberts says the hearing will feature testimony from a variety of specifically invited agricultural producers. He says lawmakers need clear direction from producers on what is working and what isn’t working in farm country.

For more information contact the Sioux County Extension office at 712.737.4230.

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This week U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) introduced comprehensive immigration reform legislation aimed at finally addressing the broken immigration system with tough, smart and fair measures. The bill, co-sponsored by Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT), addresses long-standing, wide-ranging flaws in the immigration system that have been priorities of groups on each side of the immigration reform debate. Measures include strengthening border security, enhancing worksite enforcement of immigration laws and requiring the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants present in the U.S. to register with the government, pay their taxes, learn English, pay a fine, pass a background check and wait in line for permanent residence. “The legislation Senator Menendez and I have introduced is an important starting point for this debate,” said Leahy. “It protects the rights and opportunities of American workers, while ensuring that American farmers and employers have the help they need. It promotes jobs to help spur our economy, it supports families, it helps to bring undocumented workers out of the shadows, and it enhances our border security. These are goals we can all share.” Summary of legislation: • Smart, effective border enforcement including: 1) triggers that must be met before any unauthorized immigrants can apply for permanent residency; 2) expanded staffing for Border Patrol; 3) involving border communities in developing enforcement policy and 4) more resources for the Border Patrol. • Effective and accountable immigration enforcement inside the United States, including: 1) heightened penalties for criminal offenses; 2) expanded penalties for passport and document fraud; 3) requirements for DHS to track entries and exits at the border and 4) common sense rules governing detention to ensure U.S. citizens are not unlawfully detained and detention conditions meet basic standards • Worksite enforcement including: 1) an employment verification system to ensure employers no longer hire undocumented workers that will be mandatory for all employers within 5 years; 2) criminal penalties for fraud and misuse of Social Security numbers; 3) protections for workers to prevent fraudulent use of social security numbers, correct government database errors, and combat employment discrimination and 4) a voluntary pilot program that allows individuals to submit biometric identifiers to demonstrate work authorization. • The establishment of a commission on Immigration, Labor Markets, National Interest to evaluate labor and economic conditions and link employment visa numbers to need. • Policies that put American workers first and protect labor rights by significantly expanding labor protections in the current H-2A, H-2B, H-1B, L-1 visa programs. • Creates the structure for a new nonimmigrant visa program (H-2C), with portability and a path to permanent residency, that addresses gaps in existing worker programs that have lead to undocumented migration and undermined labor rights. • Reunification of families separated by outdated immigration laws. • A registration program that requires undocumented immigrants in the U.S. as of September 30, 2010 to register with the government, learn English, and pay fines and taxes on their way to becoming Americans (the Lawful Perspective Immigrant program). • Programs to promote integration and English-language learning among immigrants. • The Dream Act, AGJOBS and UAFA (the permanent partners bill.)

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