Report on the benefits of immigration reform finds support in Secretary Vilsack

Published online: Jul 31, 2013
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The White House released a report on Monday outlining the economic impacts that the current immigration law has on agriculture.

Ag Secretary, Tom Vilsack said this report is very important in defining the need for immigration reform.  He said that the report clearly shows a labor shortage in the agricultural industry and that reform is needed to supply the nation with on-farm workers.

"If it continues, it results in a decrease in agricultural production, a decrease in agricultural outputs and exports," explained Vilsack, "which obviously will cost farm income and jobs in the economy."

Vilsack, in a conference call Monday, said immigration reform will boost the agricultural economy and create more jobs benefitting not only employers, but entire communities.

"It will provide employment security for workers and their families.  It will improve working conditions for all workers.  It will provide a fair marketplace for producers who are currently playing by the rules, who are having to compete against other employers who may be taking advantage of the system, and it will lead to population growth in rural communities," said Vilsack.

Vilsack said the report shows decreased revenues and production for farmers under the current immigration system.  He also stated that with reform, the labor shortage would decrease and production, output, and exports would increase.