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house Bill H.R. 5038

Should a Merit-Based Visa be Established Specifically for the U.S. Agriculture Sector?

Argument in favor

American agriculture is suffering due to a lack of labor, particularly due to the Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal immigration and a decline in the domestic agriculture workforce. It’s urgent for Congress to reform agriculture worker visas to enable American farmers to get the workers they need to stay operational. While this bill is imperfect, it’s an improvement on the status quo in terms of worker protections.

R scott's Opinion
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12/11/2019
These are the people that do the work to feed the nation. Make them feel safe and supported
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larubia's Opinion
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12/11/2019
Yes, merit based visas may be helpful short-term, however what we really need is comprehensive immigration reform that addresses the needs of our workforce.
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Bob's Opinion
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12/11/2019
People should be free to hire whomever they choose and allow whomever they want to stay on their property, regardless of where they were born. There's no legitimate reason for the government to prevent this or get involved in any way.
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Argument opposed

This bill would potentially provide amnesty to millions of unauthorized immigrant farm workers who broke the law by entering the U.S. illegally. From farmers’ perspective, this bill fails to address certain issues that farmers care about, such as reducing labor costs. From farm workers’ perspective, this bill fails to provide meaningful reform and labor protections for farm workers.

burrkitty's Opinion
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12/11/2019
Nah, I want food prices to go up. End fake food prices. No more artificially cheap labor. No more corn and oil subsidies. Stop using my tax dollars to manipulate the market prices of food. The American diet is SO EFFED UP in part because we haven’t paid the real prices for food since the 1930’s.
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JTJ's Opinion
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12/11/2019
This is an offense to people who are following the legal process.
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Brian's Opinion
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12/11/2019
I want wholesale immigration reform, and the best way to achieve it is to force business and industry leaders to work with both sides so they all get what they want: legal workers, worker protections, increased profits, and end to subsidies, and price stability. I know farmers may be facing a labor shortage, but many of these same farmers have exacerbated immigration problems by paying their workers under the table and skirting immigration laws. At the same time, other industries need immigrants to staff their locations, and should not be left out of immigration reform. We need to stop avoiding massive immigration reform and do something about all of it.
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    These are the people that do the work to feed the nation. Make them feel safe and supported
    Like (33)
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    Nah, I want food prices to go up. End fake food prices. No more artificially cheap labor. No more corn and oil subsidies. Stop using my tax dollars to manipulate the market prices of food. The American diet is SO EFFED UP in part because we haven’t paid the real prices for food since the 1930’s.
    Like (37)
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    Yes, merit based visas may be helpful short-term, however what we really need is comprehensive immigration reform that addresses the needs of our workforce.
    Like (27)
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    This is an offense to people who are following the legal process.
    Like (27)
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    People should be free to hire whomever they choose and allow whomever they want to stay on their property, regardless of where they were born. There's no legitimate reason for the government to prevent this or get involved in any way.
    Like (18)
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    If Trump can reap the benefits of immigrant workers why shouldn’t farmers. Just one of many reasons to impeach the hypocrite.
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    Farm workers are needed to feed our nation. This bill provides a legal framework for workers and farmers.
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    Migrant workers from south of the border were invited into the U.S. by the people and politicians who represented the agricultural sector 30 years ago. The valuable and critical part they played in our food chain was recognized then. The issue of legal/illegal entry into the country was set aside in order to have access to cheap labor in order to keep farm profits high and food costs low for the citizens of the U.S. This approach worked until U.S. citizens developed an irrational phobia against our southern neighbors. If it weren’t for the consequences for the poor I would vote “NO” but without the labor from south of the border food prices would sky rocket, we would loose the diversity of food choices and quantity/quality of food availability. (We waste 40+ percent of the food we buy.) Even with this bill there will be those who will vote no due to prejudice. I hope the farm immigrants join their labor unions and force the payment of a fair wage, medical care, housing, equitable treatment and prevent exploitation while growing and harvesting food stuffs that this ungrateful country requires for it’s life. If we are not going to give them the respect their are due for the part they play in supporting our standard of living we should have to pay extra for that lack of respect. This will drive the price of food higher but maybe we need to see exactly where our food comes from and what it cost. Citizens U.S. are generally to lazy to do the hard labor of growing and harvesting the food they consume.
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    We need farm works so crops don’t spoil in the fields !
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    Congress must Halt All immigration until 1 Our Wall is built, completes. 2 Congress tightens up Our insane amnesty, and immigration laws. 3 Our border is secure. No amnesty. No DACA. No excuses.
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    I want wholesale immigration reform, and the best way to achieve it is to force business and industry leaders to work with both sides so they all get what they want: legal workers, worker protections, increased profits, and end to subsidies, and price stability. I know farmers may be facing a labor shortage, but many of these same farmers have exacerbated immigration problems by paying their workers under the table and skirting immigration laws. At the same time, other industries need immigrants to staff their locations, and should not be left out of immigration reform. We need to stop avoiding massive immigration reform and do something about all of it.
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    Man, oh, man. Will Stephen Miller never find another hobby? He and our President will surely grow tired eventually of dreaming up ways to torment immigrants.
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    There are many immigrants attempting to enter our country one way or another. These jobs in the agriculture fields need to be done and there are plenty not willing to do them. I would reccomend the these labor-visas be offered first to refugees so that they may enter the country and escape persecution. That way, our government is granting the freedoms that they fought for so long ago to the many who need them and maintaining our purest ideals as Americans.
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    although this bill has some merit, I do not support any bill which includes amnesty. H.R. 5038 would give amnesty—including work permits, green cards, and a path to citizenship—to illegal aliens who have been unlawfully employed in agriculture at least part time during the past two years. In fact, illegal aliens who spent just most weekends working in agriculture over two years would qualify, since only 1,035 hours or 180 workdays are required.
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    Yeah, if they can follow all the laws of the land they can work here. Border jumping and then claiming asylum only because they were caught is criminal, and they should be treated as criminals. UPDATE @Dicr: What?! Trump has employed Hispanic workers?! Oh well, I guess your theory that he is a racist has been disproved. He might be a patriot, America first, but he isn't a racist. Maybe nationalist is the word you're looking for? A little lesson for you libs: Mexican isn't a race. Just thought you missed that lesson in school. Oh, you mean Trump is a racist in the liberal definition: any person that disagrees with liberals is racist. I keep forgetting the left is rewriting the dictionary.
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    We really ought to stop treating the poor and people of color as commodities.
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    Farmers despirately need labor for jobs that US citizens do not want. Farm jobs are physically challenging and come with inherent hazards. It is better the U.S. provide a way for these laborers to be here legally and offered some degree of protection against employer abuse.
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    We need a visa for temporary workers that will be renewed annually. We need the labor at specific times of the year for agribusiness and construction. There needs to be more accountability on the workers keeping the law and overstaying the visa.
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    What is the real intent of this bill? To “sort of legalize” seasonal slave labor? Build a dumb ass wall to keep immigrants out but let’s give special slave labor visas to allow people in to harvest our strawberries and tomatoes? After that, declare them probable criminals and send them back to whence they came? I call out Republican bullshit. Pick you own damn tomatoes.
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    The pendulum has swung so far that now we don’t have workers to help with farming, agriculture, people who work in the fields and fisheries and people have had to close their businesses due to the labor shortages. Well, Hale to king Trump for his mastery at business. We must Create a fair and equitable system, one that is humane and fairly executed.
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