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Public Statements

Executive Session

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


EXECUTIVE SESSION -- (Senate - December 07, 2006)

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Mr. CRAIG. Mr. President, the Senator from California, Senator Feinstein, will be here in a few moments to join me in what we believe is an important message, to continue to speak not only to our colleagues here in the Senate but to America as a whole. It is a speech not unlike the one we gave before we recessed for the break before the election, when it was becoming increasingly obvious that America was finding itself in a major labor shortage, primarily in agriculture and some of the service industries. In fact, while I was home during this recess period of time, the shortage of orange juice in the U.S. market made national news as the price went up substantially.

A shortage of orange juice today in the American market is because nearly a million cases of oranges rotted on the trees of Florida this fall, late summer, because there were not hands to pick them, put them in the crates, and move them to the processing sheds. That became painfully obvious across America as the harvest season went on, especially in those areas that require concentrated hand labor, whether it was Florida, California, and the great San Joaquin Valley of California, whether it was my State of Idaho that began to see labor shortages in a variety of areas, whether it was Washington or Oregon, where many of the fresh fruits and vegetable crops simply did not get picked and apples rotted on the trees, whether it was in Kentucky, Illinois, Colorado or Michigan, it became so obvious this Congress, in its effort to pass comprehensive immigration reform, simply failed to do so. America grew angry about it, grew angry about the number of illegals in our country and the fact this Congress did little or nothing about it.

A great deal is going on. One of the reasons the labor shortages began to appear is because this Congress insisted, and the administration agreed, we put money behind the securing and the closing of our southwest border where literally a million-plus people were moving across annually into our labor market.

We viewed that as untenable and irresponsible for a great nation to fail to control and secure its borders. We are doing that now. We are continuing to invest and will continue to invest in a secured border environment. But in doing that, and failing to couple with a more secure border a comprehensive immigration reform package that allows a real, honest, legal, fair guest worker program, American agriculture now hurts as they have never hurt before.

On December 4, all of my colleagues received a letter that in itself was almost unprecedented, a letter from over 400 agricultural groups around the country--not just agricultural groups but nursery groups, warehouse groups, storage groups, all of them generally agriculture related.

I ask unanimous consent to have that printed in the RECORD.

There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the RECORD, as follows:

December 4, 2006.
Hon. Larry Craig,
U.S. Senate,
Washington, DC.

Dear Senator Craig: The organizations on the attached list urge you to support passage of a comprehensive agricultural worker program this year!

You've read the headlines. Food grown for American tables has rotted in American fields this year. The cause? In this case it's not the weather. It's something the Congress can address--labor. We need agricultural worker reform before the end of the 109th Congress.

The facts are clear: on many American farms, immigrant labor plants, tends and picks the fruits, vegetables, and other crops. Immigrant workers tend the livestock--feeding the chickens, turkeys, horses, sheep, hogs and cattle and milking the cows. Immigrant workers also produce, install, and maintain the plants that make our homes, towns, and cities livable.

The current agricultural temporary worker program--known as H2A is flawed and needs reform. There is no area of the country where H2A workers make up more than 10 percent of the necessary farm workforce. In most areas, it's far less than that. Nationally, only two percent of farm workers are provided by the unresponsive and litigation-plagued H2A program. American agriculture needs a reformed H2A program that is timely, effective and streamlined, and a transition approach that allows for retaining the experienced workforce while capacity is built on the farm and at the border to support wider use of a program like reformed H2A.

Language that seeks to address the challenges specific to agriculture was included in the bill passed with a bipartisan majority in the Senate. Many House members of both parties have acknowledged the need to address immigration reform for agriculture. Polls show the American people overwhelmingly favor a common-sense approach to immigration reform including sensible foreign worker programs and earned legal status subject to strict conditions for workers currently in the country.

Another fact we must point out, at this late date in the year, is that agriculture issues are rarely partisan issues. While they are sometimes regional, in this case every area of the country is affected by agricultural labor shortages and support for a common-sense solution comes from every region of the country as well.

Reports in the media have told the story this harvest season: not enough workers to pick the apples in New York and Washington or the cherries in Oregon and Michigan or the oranges in Florida. One major daily newspaper showed on its front page a massive pile of pears on the ground in California--rejected by the packing house because they were picked too late due to labor shortage. Worker shortages have been reported from coast to coast, from border to border.

It is time for the Congress to act. After a decade of debate and with worker shortages now a reality, American agriculture needs your help.

The sheer number and geographic representation of the organizations on the attached list show the widespread and urgent need for solving this problem. We urge you to support enactment of a comprehensive agricultural worker program, this year!

Sincerely,
Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform; Agri-Mark, Inc.; Agri-Placement Services, Inc.; American Agri-Women; American Farm Bureau Federation; American Farmland Trust; American Frozen Food Institute; American Horse Council; American Mushroom Institute; American Nursery & Landscape Association; American Sheep Industry Association (ASI); The Council of Northeast Farmer Cooperatives; Dairylea Cooperative Inc.; Dairy Farmers of America; Farwest Equipment Dealers Association; Federation of Employers and Workers of America; Irrigation Association; Landscape Contractors Association; National Association of State Departments of Agriculture; National Christmas Tree Association.
National Council of Agricultural Employers; National Council of Farmer Cooperatives; National Greenhouse Manufacturers Association; National Milk Producers Federation; National Potato Council; National Watermelon Association; New England Apple Council; NISEI Farmers League; North American Bramble Growers Association; North American Horticultural Supply Association; Northeast Dairy Producers Association; Northeast Farm Credit Associations; Northern Plains Potato Growers Association; Northwest Farm Credit Services; Northwest Horticultural Council; Nursery & Landscape Association Executives of North America; OFA--An Association of Floriculture Professionals; Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Association; Perennial Plant Association; Produce Marketing Association.
Society of American Florists; South East Dairy Farmers Association; Southern Christmas Tree Association; Southern Nursery Association (AL, DE, FL, GA, KY, LA, MD, MI, MO, OK, NC, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV); Turfgrass Producers International; United Agribusiness League; United Egg Producers; United Fresh Produce Association; U.S. Apple Association; Western Growers; Western Plant Health Association; Western United Dairymen; Wholesale Nursery Growers of America; WineAmerica; Wine Institute; Alabama Nursery & Landscape Association; Alabama Watermelon Association; Arizona Nursery Association; Pasquinelli Produce Co., Yuma, AZ; Arkansas Green Industry Association.
Allied Grape Growers (CA); Brand Flowers Inc, Wilja Happe, Owner (CA); California-Arizona Watermelon Association; California Association; of Nurseries and Garden Centers; California Association of Wheat Growers; California Association of Winegrape Growers; California Avocado Commission; California Bean Shippers Association; California Canning Peach Association; California Citrus Mutual; California Cotton Ginners & Growers Associations; California Dairies, Inc.; California Egg Industry Association; California Farm Bureau Federation; California Fig Advisory Board; California Floral Council; California Grain and Feed Association; California Grape and Tree Fruit League; California League of Food Processors; California Pear Growers Association.
California Seed Association; California State Floral Association; California Strawberry Nurserymen's Association; California Warehouse Association; California Women for Agriculture; Carol and Bill Chandler, Chandler Farms, LP (CA); Colab Imperial County (CA); Family Winemakers of California; Fresno County Farm Bureau (CA); Grower-Shipper Association of Central California; Imperial County Farm Bureau (CA); Imperial Valley Vegetable Growers Association (CA); Kern County Farm Bureau (CA); Kings County Farm Bureau (CA); Lake County Farm Bureau (CA); Lassen County Nursery (CA); Madera County Farm Bureau (CA); Merced County Farm Bureau (CA); Monterey County Farm Bureau (CA); Napa County Farm Bureau (CA).
Olive Grower Council of California; Orange County Farm Bureau (CA); Pacific Coast Producers; Pacific Egg and Poultry Association (CA); Raisin Bargaining Association (CA); San Diego County Farm Bureau (CA); San Diego County Flower & Plant Association; San Joaquin County Farm Bureau (CA); Santa Barbara County Farm Bureau (CA); Santa Clara County Farm Bureau (CA); Stanislaus County Farm Bureau (CA); Sun Maid Growers of California; Tulare County Farm Bureau (CA); Ventura County Agricultural Association (CA); Yolo County Farm Bureau (CA); Duane Abe, Tree Fruit, Citrus, Vegetable Grower (CA); Mitch Bagdasarian, Grape and Tree Fruit Grower (CA); Anthony Balakian, Fruit Patch, Inc. (CA); Stephen J. Barnard, Mission Produce, Inc. (CA); Charanjit Batth, Raisin & Almond Grower (CA).
Doug Benik, Grape Grower (CA); Bobby Bianco, Anthony Vineyards, Inc. (CA); Pete Binz, Raisin Grower (CA); Stephen Biswell, Mt. Campbell Development (CA); Bill Boos, Grape, Tree Fruit and Citrus Grower (CA); Nicholas Bozick, R. Bagdasarian, Inc. (CA); Wayne Brandt, Brandt Farms, Inc. (CA); Rod Burkett, Olive Grower (CA); Tony Campos, Diversified Grower (CA); Anton Caratan, Anton Caratan & Sons (CA); Chris Caratan, M. Caratan, Inc. (CA); Blake Carlson, Tree Fruit and Grape Grower (CA); Kirk Cerniglia, Royal Madera Vineyards (CA); Bill Chandler, Grape & Almond Grower (CA); Micheal Conroy, Conroy Farms, Inc. (CA); Allan Corrin, Corrin Farming (CA); Stanley Cosart, W.F. Cosart Packing Co. (CA); Verne Crookshanks, Venida Packing, Inc. (CA); Anthony Cubre, Sr., Grape Grower (CA); Frank Dalena, Poultry and Vegetable Grower (CA).
Jerry Dibuduo, Ballantine Produce Co., Inc. (CA); Maurice Dibuduo, Grape Grower (CA); Nat Dibuduo, Jr., Allied Grape Growers (CA); John Diepersloot, Tree Fruit Grower (CA); Tony Domingos, Grape Grower (CA); Edge Dostal, Chiquita Fresh North America (CA); Dan Dreyer, Olive Grower (CA); Russel Efird, Diversified Grower (CA); Richard Elliot, David J. Elliot & Sons (CA); Ken Enns, Enns Packing Co., Inc. (CA); Dan Errotabere, Diversified Grower (CA); Tony Fazio, Tri-Boro Fruit Co., Inc. (CA); Steve Ficklin, Grape Grower (CA); Ron Frauenheim, Frauenheim Farms (CA); George Fujihara, Raisin Grower (CA); Fred Garza, Farm Labor Contractor (CA); Micky George, George Bros., Inc. (CA); Dan Gerawan, Gerawan Farming, Inc. (CA); Randy Giumarra, Guimarra Vineyards Corporation (CA); Jim Hamilton, Nut Grower and Processor (CA).
John Harris, Feed Lot, Diversified Farming (CA); Mak Hase, Tree Fruit Grower (CA); Steve Hash, Steve Hash Farms (CA); Doug Hemly, Greene and Hemly, Inc. (CA); Phil Herbig, Enns Packing Co., Inc. (CA); Leland Herman, Raisin Grower (CA); Phil Herman, Grape Grower (CA); David Hoff, Raisin Grower (CA); Allen Huebert, Grape and Tree Fruit Grower (CA); Tim Huebert, Tree Fruit Grower (CA); Robert Ikemiya, Ito Packing Company, Inc. (CA); Daniel Jackson, Tree Fruit Grower and Packer (CA); David Jackson, David Jackson Farms (CA); George Jackson, Tree Fruit Grower (CA); Mike Jensen, Grape, Tree Fruit Grower and Packer (CA); David Johnson, Citrus Grower (CA); Steve Johnson, Johnson Orchards, Inc. (CA); Brian Jones, Sun Valley Packing (CA); Herb Kaprielian, KCC Holding LLC (CA); Alan Kasparian, Grape Grower (CA).
Aubrey Cairns, Kaweah Lemon Company (CA); Pat Kurihara, Citrus, Tree Fruit and Grape Grower (CA); Paul Lanfranco, Grape & Tree Fruit Grower (CA); Ben Letizia, Grape and Tree Fruit Grower (CA); Jim Lloyd-Butler, James Lloyd-Butler Family Partnership (CA); Jerry Logoluso, Grape Grower (CA); Dave Loquaci, Grape Grower (CA); Ronald Lund, Raisin Grower (CA); Fred Machado, Dairy Farmer (CA); David Marguleas, Sun World International, LLC (CA); Harold McClarty, Tree Fruit Grower and Packer (CA); Mark Melkonian, Tree Fruit and Dehydrator (CA); Richard Milton, Tree Fruit Grower (CA); Keith Nilmeier, Tree Fruit Grower (CA); James Oliver, Grape and Tree Fruit Grower (CA); Louis Pandol, Pandol Bros., Inc. (CA); Dennis Parnagian, Fowler Packing Company, Inc. (CA); Justin Parnagian, Fowler Packing Company, Inc. (CA); Ron Peters, Tree Fruit Grower (CA); Scott Peters, Tree Fruit, Citrus and Grape Grower (CA).
Jerald Rebensdorf, Fresno Cooperative Raisin, Inc. (CA); Bob Reimer, Tree Fruit and Grape Grower (CA); Pat Ricchwti, Jr., Almond, Tree Fruit & Grape Grower and Packer (CA); Cliff Rolland, Abe-el Produce (CA); Cliff Sadoian, Sadoian Bros., Inc. (CA); Bobby Sano, Grape, Tree Fruit and Nut Grower (CA); Sark Sarabian, Sarabian Farms (CA); Tom Sasselli, Grape Grower (CA); Tom Schultz, Chase National Kiwi Farms (CA); Mike Scott, Raisin Grower (CA); Andrew J. Scully, Philip E. Scully, Toni M. Scully, Pear & Packing (CA); Don Serimian, Tree Fruit & Grape Grower and Packer (CA); Jim Simonian, Simonian Fruit Company (CA); Dave Smith, Olive Grower (CA); Brent Smittcamp, Wawona Packing Co., LLC. (CA); Kent Stephens, Marko Zaninovich, Inc. (CA); Ty Tavlan, Tree Fruit Grower and Packer (CA); Dean Thonesen, Sunwest Fruit Company, Inc. (CA); Bill Tos, Tree Fruit Grower & Walnut and Packer (CA); Stan Tufts, Tufts Ranch LLC (CA).
Steve Volpe, Table Grape Grower and Packer (CA); Eric Ward, Tree Fruit and Nut Grower (CA); Chiles Wilson, All State Packers, Inc. (CA); John D. Zaninovich, Zan Farms, Inc. (CA); Jon P. Zaninovich, Jasmine Vineyards, Inc. (CA); Marko S. Zaninovich, Marko Zaninovich, Inc. (CA); Ryan Zaninovich, V. B. Zaninovich & Sons, Inc. (CA); Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado; Colorado Nursery & Greenhouse Association; Colorado Potato Administrative Committee; Colorado Sugar Beet Growers Association; Colorado Wine Industry Development Board; Bishops Orchards (CT); H. F. Brown Inc. (CT); Connecticut Nursery & Landscape Association; A. Duda & Sons (FL); Florida Citrus Mutual; Florida Citrus Packers; Florida Farm Bureau Federation; Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association.
Florida Grape Growers Association; Florida Nursery, Growers & Landscape Association; Florida Watermelon Association; Gulf Citrus Growers Association (FL); Tampa Bay Wholesale Growers (FL); Georgia Green Industry Association; Georgia Milk Producers; Georgia Watermelon Association; Winegrowers Association of Georgia; Environmental Care Association of Idaho; Idaho Apple Commission; Idaho Cherry Commission; Idaho Grower Shippers Association; Idaho Nursery & Landscape Association; Idaho-Oregon Fruit and Vegetable Association; Potato Growers of Idaho; Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association; Illinois Landscape Contractors Association; Illinois Nurserymen's Association; Illinois Specialty Growers Association.
Indiana-Illinois Watermelon Association; Indiana Nursery and Landscape Association; Iowa Nursery & Landscape Association; Farm Credit of Maine; Maine Potato Board; Maryland Nursery and Landscape Association; Maryland-Delaware Watermelon Association; Massachusetts Nursery and Landscape Association, Inc.; Michigan Apple Committee; Michigan Christmas Tree Association; Michigan Farm Bureau Federation; Michigan Green Industry Association; Michigan Horticultural Society; Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association; Michigan Vegetable Council; WineMichigan; Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association; Mississippi Nursery and Landscape Association; Missouri-Arkansas Watermelon Association; Montana Nursery & Landscape Association.
Nebraska Nursery & Landscape Association; New Hampshire Farm Bureau; New Jersey Nursery & Landscape Association; Overdevest Nurseries (NJ); Agricultural Affiliates (NY); Cayuga Marketing (NY); Farm Credit of Western New York; First Pioneer Farm Credit (NY); New York Agriculture Affiliates; New York Apple Association; New York Farm Bureau; New York Horticulture Society; New York State Nursery & Landscape Association; New York State Vegetable Growers Association; PRO-FAC Cooperative, Inc. (NY); Torrey Farms Inc., NY; Upstate Farms Cooperative Inc. (NY); Yankee Farm Credit (NY); Addis Cates Company (NC); North Carolina Christmas Tree Association.
North Carolina Commercial Flower Growers' Association; North Carolina Greenhouse Vegetable Growers Association; North Carolina Farm Bureau; North Carolina Green Industry Council; North Carolina Muscadine Grape Association; North Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association; North Carolina Potato Association; North Carolina Strawberry Association; North Carolina Vegetable Growers Association; North Carolina Watermelon Association; North Carolina Wine & Grape Council; North Dakota Nursery and Greenhouse Association; Ohio Farm Bureau Federation; Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association; Oklahoma Greenhouse Growers Association; Oklahoma Nursery & Landscape Association; Hood River Grower-Shipper Association (OR); Oregon Association of Nurseries; Oregon Wine Board; Wasco County Fruit & Produce League (OR).
Hollabaugh Bros., Inc. (PA); Pennsylvania Landscape & Nursery Association; State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania; Rhode Island Nursery & Landscape Association; South Carolina Greenhouse Growers Association; South Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association; South Carolina Watermelon Association; South Dakota Nursery and Landscape Association; Tennessee Nursery & Landscape Association, Inc.; Lone Star Milk Producers (TX); Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. (TX); Select Milk Producers (TX); South Texas Cotton and Grain Association; Texas Agricultural Cooperative Council; Texas Agri-Women; Texas Association of Dairymen; Texas Cattle Feeders Association; Texas Citrus Mutual; Texas Cotton Ginners Association; Texas Grain Sorghum Producers Assocation.
Texas Nursery & Landscape Association; Texas Poultry Federation and Affiliates; Texas Produce Association; Texas Produce Export Association; Texas-Oklahoma Watermelon Association; Texas Turfgrass Producers Association; Texas Vegetable Association; Western Peanut Growers (TX); Winter Garden Produce (TX); Utah Nursery & Landscape Association; St. Albans Cooperative Creamery (VT); Vermont Association of Professional Horticulturists (VAPH); Virginia Apple Growers Association; Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association; Virginia Green Industry Council; Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association; Northern Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association; Southwest Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association; Independent Food Processors Company (WA); Mt. Adams Orchards Corporation (WA).
Underwood Fruit & Warehouse Company (WA); Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers; Washington Bulb Co.; Washington Growers Clearinghouse; Washington Growers League; Washington State Farm Bureau; Washington State Nursery & Landscape Association; Washington State Potato Commission; Washington Wine Commission; Commercial Flower Growers of Wisconsin; Gardens Beautiful Garden Centers; Hartung Brothers Inc. (WI); Lawns of Wisconsin Network; Wisconsin Christmas Tree Growers Association; Wisconsin Landscape Contractors Association; Wisconsin Nursery Association; Wisconsin Sod Producers Association.

Mr. CRAIG. What did they say? They said it very clearly: a failure to reform the H-2A program has put American agriculture in an untenable position. As we bring in the numbers this winter to do the harvest this summer and fall, it is reasonable to predict the loss that the American consumers are now hearing about in bits and pieces through the national news could well be equivalent to $4 billion to $5 billion of actual value lost at the farm gate--meaning the produce did not leave the farm, it did not make it to the processor, it will never make it to the consumer's shelf, and American consumers will grow increasingly dependent upon foreign sources for their food supply. For a great nation like ours, that is not only dangerous, it is foolish and irresponsible.

As we put American agriculture through this difficult time by our failure to enact comprehensive immigration reform, something else is going on out there on the farm. Diesel costs, fertilizer costs, equipment costs are at an all-time high. Of course, we know the general energy costs have increased at an unprecedented rate this year. Not only do we have the impact of high input costs in the production of American agriculture and agricultural foodstuffs, now there is nobody to pick the crop.

I was in the upper San Joaquin Valley late summer meeting with a group of agricultural people. One farmer said it as clearly as it could ever be said. He said: Senator Craig, if you can't bring the workers to me or if you can't make the workers available in the valley, I will have to go where the workers are.

What did he mean by that? He meant he was leasing land in Argentina or Mexico or Brazil where the labor force is today.

What will happen to the land in the great San Joaquin Valley? It will go fallow, or it will be put in homes. It will no longer be profitable to produce in that greatest agricultural valley in the world which produces the vegetable crops and all of the other kinds of crops the American consumer so readily needs, knows, and wants.

Last year, for the first time, by a near majority of months, America was consuming more from foreign import than they were consuming from their own production. That is something that should never happen in the greatest agricultural Nation in the world.

I think Americans get it. There was a very loud group who distorted the whole debate. But they also taught us something important, that Government had fumbled and Congress had failed in its responsible approach to a comprehensive, enforceable, immigration law. We ignored it for decades. In ignoring it, great problems had occurred. Not only did we have an unprecedented number of undocumented illegal foreign nationals in our country, but we had allowed industries such as agriculture to grow increasingly dependent on an illegal workforce.

Agriculture came to me in the late 1990s and said: Senator Craig, this problem has to get fixed.

We began to work on it then. Last year, the Senate passed a comprehensive bill with AgJOBS, the bill I had worked on with American agriculture and the coalition of over 400 agricultural groups. That was in the bill. But when the House failed to act and would not act, when we recognized that we had to gain confidence with the American people that we knew what we were doing and we would do it right, we increasingly began to put pressure on the border, to secure it, to make it a real border, to recognize that to cross it you had to be legal, you had to have the right papers and credentials. That is going on as we speak.

I was one who encouraged our President to maximize the use of our National Guard to help the Border Patrol to focus on those concentrated areas where greater movement of illegals coming across our border was occuring.

It is an issue of security; it is not just people wanting to cross the border to work. Last year, over 200,000 were apprehended who were non-Mexican. They were from all over the world. Many of them, tragically enough, were drug traffickers and illegals trying to get into our country for illegal purposes--not just a hard day's work in the hot sun of an agricultural field. Border security is critical.

I hope this Congress will do now what it must do, what it has to do for the American economy, for the American agricultural industries, and that is pass a responsible, comprehensive reform of the H-2A program.

Yes, we need to deal with the illegals who are currently in the country, but we also need to create a legal, identifiable flow of people who come to work and then go home. Ninety-plus percent who work here want to do just that: they want to go back from where they came. That is where their families are in large part. That is where the American dollar improves their lifestyle, back in their hometowns, predominantly in Mexico but in other parts of the world as well.

If we fail to pass comprehensive reform this year,

American agriculture will go through another devastating year in the field, and real management choices will be made, management choices no longer to plant and grow in the United States, no longer to put fresh vegetable crops in the field in December to be harvested in February to supply our great and abundant markets and the needs of our consumers.

This is a very real issue today and a very real problem. That is why on December 4 this coalition sent to this Congress an urgent message, a plea. It said: Please listen to us. Support and pass comprehensive agricultural worker reform. Give us an H-2A program that works. That is what we must accomplish because even in all of our debates this is not going to happen overnight. We won't get to this for several months, and when we do, it will take time working with the House. Then it will pass. Then it has to be implemented.

So American agriculture will go through another very tough cropping season and billions of dollars will be lost. Wise business men and women will have to make decisions of whether they continue to farm in this country and produce in this country or if they go elsewhere to produce, and instead of being domestic producers, they become foreign importers. That is something that should never be allowed to happen.

My colleague from California has joined me. Senator Feinstein and I and others have worked closely to craft the right kind of bill that works, that is legal, that is transparent, that recognizes the importance of border security and border control to get this great country back into the business of doing what it ought to do; that is, to allow into our country those we want and to keep out those we don't want.

We are a nation of immigrants. We are proud of that. Most all of us came from somewhere else some time ago. It is because of this we are a great nation. It is because of the ability to assimilate, to bring into our culture foreign nationals to become Americans that has made our country great.

In the last two decades, we failed to do that in a responsible fashion. Now, because of that, American agriculture hurts, other industries hurt. It is important we grow increasingly sensitive to getting this job done and getting it right. The job itself is passing AgJOBS, the comprehensive responsible bill to help American agriculture create a legal workforce.

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