Stallman Outlines Ramifications of E-Verify on Farmers
Washington--In a letter sent Friday to members of the House Judiciary Committee, American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman outlined the potential ramifications for U.S. farmers if Congress passes legislation to broaden the E-Verify program for hiring workers. The Committee is expected to consider a bill that would require the program for private sector firms, rather than just for federal contractors as currently required.
“One thing, we believe, is imperative: if E-Verify is to be made mandatory for agricultural employers, it is critical that Congress address our labor force needs in the same legislative vehicle,” Stallman stressed. “Farm Bureau urges the committee not to approve any E-Verify requirement for agriculture unless it is coupled with provisions that provide farmers and ranchers the assurance that they will in fact have a supply of legal workers available.”
Surveys from the Labor National Agricultural Workers Survey have placed the percentage of workers without authorization at greater than 50 percent, according to Stallman. Using these figures, Farm Bureau economists estimated that $5 billion to $9 billion of annual production would be at risk were this labor not available.