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Cent IL Farmers, Agribusiness Lobby Congress For Immigration Reform

Tue, 29 Oct 2013 17:41:53 CDT
By: WGLT's Washington Correspondent Hanna Gutmann

About 3 dozen Illinois representatives of business, law enforcement and the faith community joined 600 from around the country in reaching out to members of Congress in a push for immigration reform this year. WGLT's Washington Correspondent Hanna Gutmann reports central Illinois sent representatives from agribusiness.

The message was simple: business needs migrant workers, law enforcement needs laws that are enforceable, and the faith community is concerned about the illegal subculture. Arrowsmith hog farmer Patrick Bane was one of those appealing to Congress to pass immigration reform.

"Migrant workers are very important to agriculture. They're so critical to the livestock industry, specifically the dairy and the pork industry."

Ryan Whitehouse with the Illinois Farm Bureau in Bloomington told Congress it doesn't matter whether it's comprehensive reform, or piecemeal bills.

"We want to get to the end game. It's important for agriculture to have immigrant labor and it's important for the economy to have immigrant labor, and we just want to get moving forward so we can get a bill done before the end of the year."

One stark message was delivered to House Republicans--this is an opportunity to rehabilitate their image after the government shutdown.

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