Apparently Washington is Never Too Divided to Capitulate to the Demands of Big Ag
(December 11, 2019, Washington, D.C.) —At a time when lawmakers from our two political parties can barely stomach being under the same rotunda with each other, House members have managed to come together to approve a regressive labor and illegal alien amnesty bill, ironically labeled the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 5038). Owing to the chaos swirling around the nation’s capital, this massive giveaway to the powerful agricultural industry lobby is largely escaping notice from the American people.
Under H.R. 5038, an estimated 1.5 million illegal aliens would be eligible for amnesty, but not before having to serve a decade or more in indentured servitude to their employers before achieving full legal status. “Granting amnesty to illegal aliens is always a bad idea, and merely attracts more illegal immigration,” stated Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
“The only thing worse than another large-scale amnesty is one that then forces people to continue to toil for poor wages and under poor working conditions for the same unscrupulous employers who hired them illegally in the first place,” said Stein.
Far from modernizing our agricultural workforce, the legislation ensures that the American agricultural industry will remain mired in the 17th century. “The foundation of a modern agricultural industry must be increased reliance on technology and mechanization to ensure that we can feed our population and export our surplus. Instead of offering incentives or subsidies for farmers to invest in real modernization, this bill incentivizes a continued reliance on inefficient, low-wage immigrant labor,” Stein charged.
H.R. 5038 is, at best, a short-term fix for an industry that relies on easily exploitable labor. The bill, which would designate current illegal farmworkers as Certified Agricultural Workers (CAW), is almost an exact replicate of the failed 1986 Special Agricultural Worker (SAW) amnesty. Under that fraud-ridden amnesty program, some 1.1 million illegal aliens received legal status prompting them to leave that industry in pursuit of better wages and working conditions in other sectors of the economy, and leading Big Agriculture to hire the next wave of illegal aliens.
“Mark Twain quipped that ‘History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.’ Congress, in attempting to create a CAW amnesty after the massive failure of the SAW amnesty, seems intent on proving that history can repeat itself and rhyme at the same time,” Stein observed.
“While Congress continues to do nothing to secure our borders, passing a bill that rewards both illegal aliens and their employers, and calling it ‘modernization,’ is a slap in the face to the plurality of Americans who consider immigration to be the nation’s most pressing domestic issue,” concluded Stein.
Contact: Matthew Tragesser, 202-328-7004 or firstname.lastname@example.org