Ag leader hopes new Congress, President can pass ag worker reforms


By Larry Lee, Brownfield

January 7, 2021


An agricultural leader says he hopes the new Congress and President can provide a legal solution for foreign farm labor.  Craig Regelbrugge with AmericanHort says last year’s Farm Workforce Modernization Act was the first labor bill to pass the U.S. House in twenty years, but it died with no action in the Senate, and that means reforms are still needed. “We need reforms that allow our experienced-but-unauthorized current workforce, which is half of the current workforce incidentally, to be able to attain some sort of legal status with authorization to work.”


Regelbrugge says they can be flexible on the details of a labor bill, but farmers need a way to stabilize the current workforce and provide for future workers. “We have worker shortages today, and so we need better visa program options.”


Regelbrugge says the pandemic bared down on Congress, stopping the advancement of the bill but he is cautiously optimistic a farm labor reform bill can pass in the new Congress...