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AGree leaders endorse Senate immigration bill

The four co-chairs of AGree, a foundation-led effort on long-term agricultural policy, have sent members of the Senate a letter endorsing the immigration reform bill passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The bill is expected to come up on the Senate floor next week.

“The timeā€sensitive nature of many farm, ranch, dairy, and custom harvesting operations creates a set of special circumstances for an industry fundamental to the lives of every American,” said the letter, signed by former Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman; Gary Hirshberg, the chairman of Stonyfield Farm; Jim Moseley, a former deputy Agriculture secretary, and Emmy Simmons, a former assistant administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

“Thus, an effective immigration policy – one that facilitates the employment of skilled seasonal labor from other countries and sets out a path to citizenship for those undocumented agricultural workers who have long worked in food and agriculture — is vital to the economic health of the United States and to the resilience and livelihoods of rural and agricultural communities in all 50 states,” the letter said.

“For these reasons, we urge your strong support for the passage of S. 744 without substantial modification, when it is brought to the Senate floor for consideration.”