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AILA Press Release: The Senate Needs to Be Allowed to Vote on AgJobs

Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 04070862 (posted Jul. 8, 2004)"

American Immigration Lawyers Association

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 8, 2004
Contact: Judith Golub 202-216-2403
(Jgolub@aila.org)
or Julia Hendrix 202-216-2404
(Jhendrix@aila.org)

THE SENATE NEEDS TO BE ALLOWED TO VOTE ON AGJOBS

Washington, DC - AgJobs, the Agricultural Jobs, Opportunity, Benefits, and Security (AgJobs) Act (S. 1645), is a measure that has strong bipartisan support. In fact, 63 Senators are cosponsoring this important measure. Yet Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) is preventing the Senate from considering this bill as an amendment to legislation to reform class-action lawsuits.

AgJobs is a needed first step to create an immigration system that is safe, legal, and orderly. It reflects both an historic agreement between the representatives of farm workers and the agricultural industry, and the pressing need, for humanitarian, economic, and security reasons, to reform our immigration laws in this sector of our economy. This measure would create an earned adjustment program for undocumented farm workers who would be eligible to apply for temporary immigration status based on their past work experience, and could become permanent residents upon satisfying prospective work requirements. The legislation also would streamline the existing H-2A foreign agricultural worker program while preserving and enhancing key labor protections.

Once enacted, these provisions would create a stable labor force and a useable program through which future workers could legally enter. By encouraging people to come out of the shadows and be reviewed by our government, this measure also would enhance our security by helping us know who lives and works within our borders.

It is long past time for the Senate to consider and pass this long-overdue measure. The status quo is unacceptable. AgJobs is a needed step on the road to reform. We urge the Senate to swiftly take up and pass this important measure.

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Founded in 1946, AILA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that provides its Members with continuing legal education, information, and professional services. AILA advocates before Congress and the Administration and provides liaison with the DHS and other government agencies. AILA is an Affiliated Organization of the American Bar Association.

American Immigration Lawyers Association
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Washington, D.C. 20004
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202 (783=7853) Fax
www.aila.org