After months of anticipation, the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” U.S. senators introduced their comprehensive immigration reform bill (PDF) on Wednesday. The bill would tighten border security while also providing a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants. Organizers hope it will earn broad enough support to pass both chambers of Congress and be signed into law.
The bill reflects an agreement on agricultural workers that was struck between the Agriculture Workforce Coaltion (AWC), the United Farm Workers (UFW) and key senators. Members of the AWC include the American Nursery & Landscape Association and OFA — The Association of Floriculture Professionals. ANLA and OFA issued a joint statement applauding the bill. Leaders with those two groups and the OAN said they would give the bill further analysis and monitor its progress carefully to make sure it provides a future flow of workers for agriculture and nurseries.
ImmigrationWorks USA, a pro-reform coalition, held a press briefing on the less-skilled worker provision of the bill. Employer groups representing agriculture, construction and manufacturing took part; the audio is available for online listening here.