Immigration Reform & Drought Assistance

Immigration Reform & Drought Assistance

Immigration Reform & Drought Assistance

I'm Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.

Numerous business organizations, several of them ag related have been ardently calling for Congress to move forward with immigration reform. U.S. Representative for Washington's 4th Congressional District Doc Hastings says that it is possible that immigration reform may be brought to a vote before the summer recess.

HASTINGS: There still is a possibility that the House could act. They have taken several individual provisions, and there still is a chance that that could come to the floor later on this summer. That possibility does exist.

Hastings says the main provision he has diligently been seeking is a workable guest worker program for agriculture.

HASTINGS: I've been very much involved in those discussions and there's been a tremendous amount of movement. I think they have a workable and predictable guest worker program for our labor intensive agriculture. One of the things I've heard more and more is to have some certainty as to what the labor supply is. That's what the issue is and I've been working with a number of people on getting those provisions and frankly we've moved I think in a very positive way.

Due to the recent drought Ag Secretary Vilsack has designated Benton, Chelan, Franklin, Lincoln and Walla Walla counties as primary natural disaster areas. Such a designation makes farmers in these counties eligible to be considered for FSA emergency loans and a variety of additional FSA programs to help producers recover from adversity. Adjacent counties are considered contiguous and producers in those counties are also eligible for Emergency Loans, provided eligibility requirements are met. For further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for FSA emergency loans and other assistance programs contact your local FSA office.

That's Washington Ag Today.

I'm Lacy Gray on the Ag Information Network.

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