Dairy farmers want foreign labor

With the debate over immigration reform continuing to get hotter by the day, dairy farmers are now throwing their hat into the ring, demanding that they be given more access to overseas workers.

In order for the controversial immigration reform plan from the Gang of Eight to be backed by Republicans, Senators need to have conservative leaders on their side.  To be able to achieve this they have decided to throw their weight behind the dairy farm industry, a $35 million business according to Reuters.  Votes from people who support an increasing economy are what are being pursued by Senators, and with the potential of the dairy industry to be able to employ a lot of new workers, this could well be one deal that they will be unwilling to pass up.

“It is a way of giving something to those who may see parts of the bill as undesirable and let them say ‘At least I’m going to be helping the agriculture industry in my state’,” notes the former Republican Florida Senator, Mel Martinez.  The dairy industry needs to be given access to skilled overseas workers during various different times in a year, and farmers would be able to have more flexibility if they had immigrant workers on hand to complete tasks.

“This would enable (farmers) to plan ahead and not wake up in the middle of the night wondering if they’ll have enough workers to pick their crop,” says the Michigan Farm Bureau’s national legislative counsel, Ryan Findlay.