America's Great Outdoors & Immigration Reform plus Food Forethought. I'm Greg Martin with today's Northwest Report.
A Presidential Memorandum was recently signed to promote and support community-level efforts to conserve and preserve outdoor spaces. President Obama outlines the America's Great Outdoors Initiative.
OBAMA: In the months ahead, members of this administration will host regional listening sessions across America. We'll meet with everybody -- from tribal leaders to farmers, from young people to businesspeople, from elected officials to recreation and conservation groups. And their ideas will help us form a 21st century strategy for America's great outdoors to better protect our natural landscape and our history for generations to come. Understand, we're not talking about a big federal agenda being driven out of Washington. We're talking about how we can collect best ideas on conservation; how we can pursue good ideas that local communities embrace; and how we can be more responsible stewards of tax dollars to promote conservation.
One piece of legislation important to Agriculture – immigration reform – is not likely to come up this year. The sting from health care reform and upcoming elections would put any such bill in jeopardy. Some lawmakers see their careers in Washington in trouble after passage of health care reform. They really don't want another controversial vote.
Now with today's Food Forethought, here's Lacy Gray.
I think it's pretty safe to say that everyone would agree this country's immigration enforcement system is broken. What they can't seem to agree on is how to fix it. Now that the health care reform bill is no longer the primary focus of Congress many in the ag industry are hopeful Congress will turn their full attention onto immigration reform. The federal electronic employee verification system which was intended to sift illegal immigrants out of the nation's work force has instead been more a hindrance than a help for employers and the legal citizens they employ; legal employees who must continually verify they're right to work in the U.S. due to confusion over foreign sounding names or name changes due to marriage. Such problems have led to proposals for immigration enforcement in the work force of sci-fi proportions, such as biometric Social Security cards which would contain an employee's fingerprint or retinal scan in order to help employers identify legal workers. While it seems a likely proposal for fixing the immigration problem it could also be a jump onto a slippery slope leading to major privacy issues and identity fraud.
Thanks Lacy. That's today's Northwest Report. I'm Greg Martin on the Northwest Ag Information Network.