In announcing his retirement at the end of 2018, House Judiciary chairman Bob Goodlatte said his goals in his final year in office include "bolstering enforcement of our immigration laws and reforming the legal immigration system." Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican, is the sponsor of divisive legislation to create a year-round H-2C agricultural guestworker program to replace seasonal H-2A visas.
House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte tweaked his bill for a new year-round H-2C guestworker visa program but Democrats on the committee said the changes worsened a bill that greatly expands the range of jobs the foreign workers could fill. During a rancorous bill-drafting session, the Republican majority defeated on party-line votes Democratic amendments for higher pay for H-2C workers and to bar them from forestry jobs.
Two of the top-ranking members of the House Agriculture Committee are among the four lead sponsors of a bill to eliminate the federal mandate for corn-based ethanol.
An umbrella group of agricultural employers, worried about its workforce, warned lawmakers there would be "a devastating impact" if an identity-check system is mandated "in the absence of a legislative solution for agriculture's labor needs."