Goodlatte Wants Legal Foreign Ag Workers


Rep. Bob, Goodlatte, R-Va., is trying to smuggle more foreigners into the United States, this time at the behest of the agribusiness. According to his op-ed in Farm Facts, U.S. agriculture needs foreign workers — guest workers, they are called — because So Goodlatte will give them legislation to open the borders.

I soon plan to introduce the Agricultural Guestworker Act—or the AG Act — to create a workable agricultural guestworker program that works better for both American farmers and consumers. The bill incorporates many of the comments and concerns I have heard from the agriculture community over the past several years. Here are some of the key details of the AG Act.

The AG Act replaces the H-2A program with a more efficient and flexible guestworker program—known as H-2C—that is designed to meet the needs of the diverse agriculture industry. The H-2C program will be administered by the folks at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, an agency that clearly understands the unique needs of America’s farm and ranch operations and the importance of getting perishable agricultural commodities to market in an efficient manner.

The AG Act will allow experienced unauthorized agricultural workers to continue working in agriculture by joining the H-2C guestworker program so that they can participate legally in the agricultural workforce.

The AG Act also provides farmers with much needed flexibility. Since not all agriculture jobs require the same level of skill and experience, the bill gives employers the opportunity to invest their time training workers for specialized or hard to fill jobs by allowing workers to stay for a longer period of time and provides flexible touchback requirements. The new guestworker program also serves the diverse interests of the agriculture industry by allowing the forestry industry, dairies, raw food processors, and other year-round agricultural employers to participate when adequate domestic labor cannot be found. …

The agricultural community has waited far too long for a workable guestworker program and it’s past time to enact a solution. When not enough Americans can be found to fill jobs, the AG Act ensures that American farmers have access to a reliable workforce to fill positions needed to keep their farms afloat. The House Judiciary Committee plans to move this bill soon so that farmers can continue growing our food and our economy with the assurance that their labor needs will be met.

Note his very weak caveats: “when adequate domestic labor cannot be found” and “when not enough Americans can be found to fill jobs.” Unsurprisingly, he doesn’t tell us who’s going to decide those questions.

Here’s an idea: Let’s cut off this nation’s way-to-generous and never-ending unemployment benefits and see who’s willing, when faced with working or starving, to pick the fruit and vegetables in danger of “rotting in the fields.”

Goodlatte was once chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, and is now chairman of Judiciary. He has backed the GOP’s Kiddie Amnesty, yet claims he backs President Trump’s decision to suspend DACA, Obama’s amnesty for 800,000 illegals. Not because Goodlatte wants them deported, but because he wants Congress to pass a bill that Trump can sign.

I stand ready to work with the Trump Administration and my colleagues in Congress to address this problem the right way: through reasonable legislation passed by Congress, rather than by executive fiat.”

Note something else Goodlatte doesn’t say: whether those 800,000 illegals will stay.

My guess: Goodlatte doesn’t have the stones to deport them.