July 7, 2008

Program Legally Connects Farmers with Foreign Workers

Backers urging Congress to act to keep it viable.
By KTRH's Bill O'Neal
Monday, July 7, 2008

It's a program that connects American farmers with foreign born workers legally.

"We know that at least 70-percent of agricultural workers come to the farms with false documents. That means we have a largely illegal work force. Farmers don't want illegal workers, they want reliable, legal workers," said Jason Resnick, General Counsel with Western Growers.

A number of organizations take part in the 50-year-old program, but Resnick said it's simply becoming too expensive to be maintained.

'It does require that workers pass a background check, that they have a passport from another country, that they pass a background check to get here," Resnick said, urging Congress to take action. To Norman Adams with Texans for Sensible Immigration, it only makes sense.

"To figure out how to work them legally so we can properly tax them. But most important in my mind is we need to positively identify these people, so we know who's in this country," Adams said, adding he believes such programs should be spread to other areas of the workforce.

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