Farmers Lobby for Guest-Worker Program

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Luawanna Hallstrom’s family has been farming in the San Diego area for nearly a century.  She says enforcement without a temporary worker program hurts farmers:

“We saw the raisin industry in California lose upwards of 300 million dollars this year for the only reason that they couldn’t find enough workers to harvest their crop in time.”

Hallstrom is Chair of the state Farm Bureau’s labor committee.  She says they’re lobbying for a solution including border control and a guest-worker program.

 “What we’re trying to do is say let’s match up willing workers with willing employers that have jobs that Americans don’t want.”

But groups like the Federation for American Immigration Reform say that’s a myth – and big business would the benefit from such a program, while taxpayers would pay the cost.  The group also says a guest worker system would *not* stem the tide of illegal immigration.