illegal immigration

Farm-labor reform bill heads for House vote this week

Six weeks after sponsors unveiled their plan, the House is scheduled to vote on a bipartisan bill to provide legal status to undocumented farmworkers and to modernize the H-2A guestworker program. If passed, the bill has an uncertain future, with impeachment dominating the congressional agenda and the Republican-run Senate blockading legislation from the Democratic-controlled House.

House Judiciary chairman proposes year-round agricultural guest-worker program

The U.S. would scrap its much-criticized H-2A system of short-term visas for agricultural workers and replace it with an H-2C program that allows foreign laborers to stay in the country for up to three years under a bill filed by House Judiciary chairman Bob Goodlatte. The bill also would allow those laborers, for the first time, to work in dairies and processing plants. The committee is scheduled to vote on the bill on Wednesday, at a moment when lawmakers want to resolve the issue of "dreamers," youths brought illegally into the U.S. by their parents.

Trump backs merit plan that halves legal immigration

Returning to a signature issue of his campaign, President Trump endorsed a Senate bill for a skills-based system for immigration that could have a distant effect on farm labor because it would halve the flow of legal immigrants. The Ag Workforce Coalition of farm groups said it "continues to work with key lawmakers on legislation that would address agriculture's needs" for a legal and reliable supply of farm workers with hopes the issue will gain traction in the fall.

Trump meets with his ‘friend,’ Mexican President Nieto, for the first time

While in Hamburg, Germany, for the G20 summit, President Trump met with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, for the first time since the start of the American leader’s term. Nieto’s foreign minister, Luis Videgaray, predicted that NAFTA talks with begin August 16.

With community opposition, foreign workers struggle to find housing

Guest farmworkers recruited to the U.S. under the H-2A visa program are guaranteed a free place to stay, with the costs covered by their employer. But many towns in California don’t want to see non-native workers living in their midst, fearful that the newcomers will bring crime and traffic and lower property rates, says Los Angeles Times.

A U.S.-Mexico cultural exchange of sorts for Wisconsin farmer and his workers

For dairy farmer John Rosenow, diversity in his hometown of Cochrane, Wis., near the Mississippi River "was whether you were Polish or Norwegian." Rosenow resisted hiring foreign workers but eventually ran out of options and began hiring workers from Mexico, says Marketplace. The story describes how Rosenow ended up making nine trips to coastal Veracuz "to better understand the language and culture of his workers."

Undocumented immigration rates to U.S. plummet

The number of undocumented immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border has dropped 40 percent since President Trump took office. “About 840 people a day were caught trying to cross the border or deemed inadmissible after presenting themselves at a port of entry in February, down from about 1,370 a day in January, according to new figures released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection,” says the LA Times.

Trump-voting farmers worry that he will live up to his immigration promises

Many farmers in California’s Central Valley, where 70 percent of the farmworkers are in the U.S. without documentation, voted for Donald Trump. But as Trump takes a hard line on immigration in his first few weeks in office, some farm owners are worried he won’t make any exemptions for agriculture, says the New York Times.

Eater refuses to publish immigrant-owned food guide for fear of retaliation

Eater, a major food-news outlet, says it won’t publish lists of immigrant-owned food establishments because it fears that any such lists could fall into the wrong hands. According to a statement on the outlet's website, Eater readers have written in asking for recommendations of immigrant-owned food businesses because they want to show their support in light of the threat of deportations under the Trump administration.

Mexicans pray Donald Trump will lose

Rural Mexicans who rely on funds sent my their undocumented relatives in the U.S. are praying for Donald Trump to lose on Election Day, says Reuters. Trump has said he would deport illegal immigrants if he were president, cutting off a vital economic lifeline.

Trump’s plan: All illegal immigrants will be subject to deportation

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump called for hard-nosed enforcement of immigration laws, saying that if becomes president, anyone in the United States illegally would be subject to deportation and the sole path to citizenship would be "to return home and apply for re-entry." Only those likely to flourish would be welcome. Trump's 10-step plan was strikingly similar to a position paper released months ago by his campaign and a rebuttal to any speculation that his stance on immigration has softened.