Getting E-Verify Passed

Getting E-Verify Passed

Getting E-Verify Passed. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Line On Agriculture.

We have been talking with Mike Gempler, Executive Director of the Washington Growers League about the proliferation of no-match letters being sent out by the Social Security Administration. He says they have been working with employers recently on what to do with the no-match letters and also on the broader picture.

GEMPLER: Trying to help with the effort to get some sort of legislation passed in Congress that will help protect the agricultural industry on immigration issues because it really is a matter of “when”, not “if” mandatory e-verify will be passed. I fully expect a mandatory e-verify bill to be passed by the House of Representatives this year. Their goal is to pass it before August recess. Then it would go to the Senate obviously.

Gempler believes there’s high potential for it to be passed in the Senate.

GEMPLER: If mandatory e-verify legislation is passed without any corresponding legislation to help us achieve a legal workforce, to legalize the one we have now or make it easier to hire people on temporary visas easier than the current H2A program - it’s going to be very, very destructive to this industry.

He says it’s crucial to the ag industry that we get some easier way of hiring a legal workforce. A big push on the part of agriculture right now is to attach language to these e-verify bills that will protect the ag industry. Gempler also says that there is another issue out there he is keeping an eye on.

GEMPLER: We had a big success with this on farm infrastructure loan program in Washington State. It’s run by the Department of Commerce. You know a few million bucks is what it’s cost and it provides very low interest or no interest loans in some cases to growers to build the infrastructure for on-farm housing.

The program has been very successful but according to Gempler:

GEMPLER: Right now it’s not in the budget and we’re trying very hard to get it in the budget. I mean this is a tough environment economically and tough budget environment in this state right now and you know all kinds of stuff is getting cut. But this isn’t making it and it’s not a very big item in the scheme of things. Two million dollars frankly would allow the program to continue but I’m very concerned about that. It’s just been such a valuable program and such a successful program.

That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. For great buys on Farm Equipment visit’s internet auctions. Every second and fourth Wednesdays. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

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