The fact that there was a hearing with House Judiciary on guest worker legislation is not so notable. The fact that there was a Georgia producer, Arturo Rodriquez on behalf of UFW and Tom Nassif for WGA testifying was not so notable. What were notable were comments from members of Congress speaking to the issue. Sub Committee chair Zoe Lofgren (Ca. D): “Obviously we can’t delegate the decision making to growers and farmworkers. But if they are able to come to agreement it may be of assistance to the Congress.” She went on to state that this issue is a “matter of national security” citing the rising amount of imported food which she said was due at least in part to a shortage of U.S. labor. Another D Congressman from California Lou Correa stated: “we want to make sure that we continue to be the breadbasket of the world. We have to continue to focus on agriculture and take care of agriculture.”
As always the subject of H2A came up with Nassif summing the issue up best by stating “we have to make sure that it is not an administrative nightmare and doesn’t price our producers out of business.” Supporting principles developed with the California agricultural family, Nassif spoke to reasons why families cannot be separated, a cap simply doesn’t make economic sense and one streamlined program makes the most sense. But will the Congressional words turn into Congressional bill passage?