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Broad immigration reform may steady food prices

Many Illinois residents know that reform of United States immigration laws remains a hot topic in Congress, even during this election year. Now, one group, the American Farm Bureau, has weighed in on the immigration debate as a representative of America's agricultural industry. The Bureau says that without broad immigration reform, food prices may go up since farm workers are apparently in short supply.

Many of those people who are willing to take on jobs as farm workers are immigrants, and not all of them have the necessary documentation to prove their right to work in this country. Therefore, the organization is concerned that if immigration reform becomes too narrowly focused on enforcing immigration laws, it will hurt food production. A lower food supply in turn will mean higher prices. The group was particularly concerned about how immigration reform would affect the production of fruit, vegetables and livestock.

In lieu of a program focused on enforcing immigration laws, the Farm Bureau suggested that a more liberal system of employment-based immigration would help keep food prices steady while eliminating red tape and streamlining the immigration system. Specifically, the organization would like to see the current "seasonal visa program" changed so that farm workers could take a job under a visa that would last three years.

Immigration is a wonderful opportunity for individuals and their families to get a new opportunity to improve the quality of their lives. However, Illinois residents should not forget that immigration also affords benefits for the American economy as well. According to the American Farm Bureau, immigration reform just may help stave off a spike in food prices.

Source: The New York Times, "Farm Group Seeks Immigration Changes," Ron Nixon, Feb. 10, 2014

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Godoy Olivieri, Ltd.-An immigration law firm

2021 Midwest Road
Suite 200
Oak Brook, IL 60523
312-445-0591 local
800-264-2752 toll free
630-705-5258 fax
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1655 S. Blue Island Ave.
Suite 300
Chicago, IL. 60608
312-445-0591 local
800-264-2752 toll free
630-705-5258 fax
Map & Directions