Shorthanded, U.S. agriculture hopes for a role in immigration debate

President Trump proposed a “points-based” system on Thursday that would put younger, highly trained, and well-paid workers at the front of the line for legal immigration to the United States. The plan was silent on agricultural labor, but farm groups hope to be part of “a broader dialogue” on immigration.

Farm groups warn of damage as Trump threatens border closure

On Wednesday, in his latest threat to close the U.S.-Mexico border, President Trump demanded that Congress “immediately eliminate the loopholes at the Border.” The American Farm Bureau Federation asked that agricultural trade be exempted from any restrictions, and the National Farmers Union said a closure would be disastrous.

Powerhouse Democrats propose ‘blue card’ for undocumented farmworkers

Democratic lawmakers from the House and Senate unveiled bills on Thursday that would give undocumented farmworkers “blue card” status, allowing them to work legally in the United States and gain the chance to become permanent residents, with an eventual path to citizenship. (No paywall)

As vote nears, House GOP lauds farm bill as welfare reform

Two House Republican leaders praised their party’s five-year farm bill on Wednesday as fruitful welfare reform that will get more people into the workforce. The House could vote on the bill as early as today.

Conservatives omit H-2C farmworker visa in new immigration bill

The chairmen of the House Judiciary and Homeland Security committees unveiled an immigration bill on Tuesday that “addresses the four pillars for immigration reform outlined by President Trump.” Unlike an earlier version, though, it does not create a new, year-round H-2C visa for farmworkers.

Deadline nears for House attempt to revive farm bill

The electoral circuitry to revive the Republican-written House farm bill this week looks like the mechanism of a Rube Goldberg machine. Republican leaders plan floor votes on two immigration bills, neither certain of passage, to generate support among hardline conservatives for the farm bill. A close vote is expected, just like the roll call that sank the bill a month ago.

A Democrat appeals to conservative Republicans in farm country

In the heart of Iowa's rural 4th district, Democratic hopeful J.D. Scholten is making a bid for conservative Republican Steve King's congressional seat, appealing to farmer interests to win support for his campaign, according to FERN's latest story, by Brian Barth, produced in collaboration with Mother Jones. (No paywall)

Modernized farmworker visa on the way, says administration

With immigration legislation stalled in Congress, four members of President Trump’s cabinet said on Thursday that they will modernize the H-2A guestworker program for agricultural labor.

House quietly aims for farm bill revival by June 22

Four days after defeating the farm bill, the House quietly delayed Speaker Paul Ryan's attempt to revive the bill until June 22, with GOP leaders hoping that hardline Republicans will vote for it the second time. Members of the House Freedom Caucus provided the decisive votes against the farm bill to underline their demand for a roll call on immigration controls. (No paywall)

GOP whip says House will try immigration, then farm bill re-vote

Acceding to demands by conservatives, the House will take up the restrictive Goodlatte-McCaul immigration bill during the third week of June and then follow that with a new vote on the farm bill, said Majority Whip Steve Scalise on Monday.