Comprehensive immigration reform is critical to sustaining the Midwest's role as a global leader in agriculture. That's the message from U-S Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Vilsack says moving forward with the immigration reform plan recently passed by the U-S Senate is key to retaining international talent that comes to this country to study in the plant sciences.
"Immigration reform basically focuses on making sure that the visa program for those scientists, those researchers, is doable, that it provides greater flexibility than the current system and gives usthe capacity to attract more of the talent from around the world."
Vilsack also says the Senate plan expands the guest worker program which would make it easier to maintain a steady and legal supply of farm labor. Some Republican leaders in the GOP controlled U-S House of Representatives have criticized the Senate's plan, saying in part that it is too vague when it comes to ensuring border security.
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