Home Audiencia del Senado sobre trabajadores del campo (EN INGLES)

Audiencia del Senado sobre trabajadores del campo (EN INGLES)

by smart

thanks ms sorensen for your testimony and thanks to all of you uh i’m glad you were here for the earlier part of the hearing when members were asking secretary vilsack questions because i think it puts into political perspective why we have failed for 36 years 36 years to pass any immigration reform bills you think this nation of immigrants would have to modify its laws from time to time to reflect the reality of employment in america and other issues that come before us and yet we have just been stopped in our tracks unable to move and some of the statements made earlier by a few my colleagues may give you some insight into why that is the case i happen to disagree with the premise and the premise seems to be that if we allow one person to receive am what they call amnesty and become a citizen of the united states the message is going to go out around the world the doors are open in the united states you can find your way in here all you have to do is just present yourself at the border i think there are a million reasons at least a million reasons why that argument fails because each year we allow a million people to become citizens of this country naturalization ceremonies are going on today in fact one of our staffers has a father who’s going through a naturalization ceremony today so a million newcomers to america show up regularly that’s just part of who we are and yet that doesn’t send the message to the whole world that the doors are wide open many people have struggled their whole lifetime to be eligible for citizenship mr rodriguez you know these workers better than anybody tell me what you think about the argument about amnesty and the fact that we’re dealing with diseased terrorists drug runners who are going to come to this country and make it weaker and worse well i think the reality is is that we have worked very hard with the ag industry as well as with republicans and democrats especially in these last few years in trying to develop the farm workforce modernization act that legislation to ensure that in fact those workers that are working here today in agriculture will continue working in agriculture for years to come and so as a result we felt that that is not going to bring as a result of other folks coming into the country because of the fact that we’re doing that one they can’t even get into this legislation they can’t even be a part of the program unless in the two previous years they worked a certain amount of time in agriculture just to enter into the program itself and to get certified agriculture worker status so that alone prevents an onslaught of people coming into our country in order to be able to be a part of this program that won’t be allowed in addition for them to attain any other type of legal status in the country they’re going to have to minimally work another four years in agriculture minimally mr meyer is like some of the other witnesses you made a great sacrifice to come here today from the idaho oregon border and uh i’m really digging i’m really uh appreciating your uh presentation first on cbs and then again today you just don’t seem like the likely witness to be coming for us with your message an idaho oregon asparagus farmer who is basically telling us we’ve got to give these people some dignity and some opportunity is that a factor of growing up in the community that you described absolutely it’s a factor that i’ve been privileged to live in lots of folks think of homogenous small towns we have a multicultural and and a very diverse uh group of people that live in my hometown and and that growing up that appreciation that love that we have for one another has formed you know my opinion of a lot of things and i will add the personal experiences that i’ve seen with those trying to work towards daca or with employees or with schoolmates and the reality of the immigration system their circumstances and what the results were and the consequences of decisions that others made for them uh just i was consulting with senator grassley because we have an additional roll call that we’re facing and and so mr sakara do you dispute the thing the statement that has been made repeatedly that half of the farm workers in this country are undocumented i think that’s what the best data available shows the department of labor conducts regular surveys of farm workers in-person surveys and the result of those show that at least 50 percent admit to being in the country without legal status so if we were to rigidly enforce the laws and they would be deported then what you predicted the decline of american fruits and vegetables uh being uh grown and exported would probably be accelerated wouldn’t it i think that’s fair yes yeah i think that’s fair too i might also say that i happen to agree with mr myers that i think consumers are becoming more discerning and asking more questions about what they’re buying and i’ve got a lot of friends who look very carefully at the origin of fruits and vegetables and lean obviously toward the united states where there are higher standards mr cigarette do you oppose the notion of a pathway to citizenship for those undocumented farm workers well personally i’d don’t have an opinion on that issue i think the the question is what’s the purpose for the legalization and as i noted in my testimony i think there are many good reasons that people could put forward to legalize the current undocumented workforce for me the question is what does that do for agriculture in the availability of labor while you may legalize certainly workers who are here in illegal status that doesn’t do anything to help the current labor shortage let’s use the example secretary vilsack used he ran into a farm worker who had been there 20 years working as farm worker unable to leave the country because he’s undocumented to visit his family in mexico so if this became the law he wouldn’t instantly become a citizen and decide to open a franchise restaurant he has nine years at least to wait before he becomes naturalized at least nine years to wait and so the suggestion is at least to me he’s going to continue to be a farmworker for that period of time but he gets to visit his family is that such a bad thing well again senator that’s a question for this body to decide i look at this issue from the perspective of my clients and the agricultural workforce and these people are working currently in agriculture performing very difficult jobs and certainly many of them without legal status providing them legal status certainly would have benefits to those workers and to their employers but again that doesn’t help larger agricultural problem of labor shortages and that can only be done through a reform of the visa program the the person that you mentioned i don’t think that’s an uncommon story many people have come across the border without authorization and have essentially become trapped in the u.s because of a failure of the visa system if they had an ability to obtain a visa and travel back and forth across the border many would from what my clients tell me most farm workers aren’t interested in becoming u.s citizens they want legal status to come here and work because they can earn 16 16 times more than they can earn at home that was a shocking number that i heard from you mr myers 150 a day that’s what you paid the farm workers which basically if you do the math that’s what it turns out to be as opposed to eight dollars a day if they’re working in mexico that’s senator grassley yeah

Audiencia del Senado sobre trabajadores del campo  (EN INGLES)

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