Farm Organization Criticizes Immigration Bill

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Roy Gabriel, the Legislative Director of the California Farm Bureau says there's a severe shortage of farm workers in the state.

"Right now there's about a 30 percent shortage of workers."

Gabriel says the new immigration measure  that calls for closing the border and deporting undocumented workers will make the situation worse.
He says it's imperative that next year, Congress create a so-called Guest Worker Program.

"So workers can be brought in when the need arises when domestic workers are unavailable."

Marc Grossman, a spokesman for the United Farm Workers Union agrees with Gabriel's assessment that the immigration bill is flawed.

"Deporting undocumented farm workers would devastate the agricultural industry as we know it."

Gabriel says the Republican leadership of the Senate has indicated that a Guest Worker Program will be considered when Congress reconvenes next year, but opponents promise to fight it, just as they did during the most recent session.