Earlier this week, the Western Growers’ Executive Committee and Arizona board members joined forces in Phoenix for annual Leadership meetings. The WG directors, joined by WG President and CEO Tom Nassif and key staff, met with legislators, candidates, administration officials, political strategists and the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry to discuss the 2014 elections and what they could mean for the future of Arizona and the fresh produce industry. Immigration reform was a key discussion topic in the meetings.
This past Sunday, March 16, 2014, The Sacramento Bee published the following joint op-ed submitted by Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif and General Counsel and Executive Vice President, Microsoft, Legal and Corporate Affairs, Brad Smith, on the need for immigration reform for both of our industries. In an effort to continue our efforts to move immigration reform forward in the House, Western Growers is sending this piece to every California House office and to select Arizona House offices.
The Western Growers Board of Directors, led by Chairman Bruce Taylor, concluded three-successful days of meetings and activities in Sacramento today highlighted by high level dialogues with state officials and regulators.
This week, the Ag Workforce Coalition (AWC), in conjunction with the Partnership for a New American Economy (PNAE), launched the #ifarmimmigration campaign. The goal of this effort is to maximize the pro-immigration reform message and includes outreach to Congressional offices, grassroots and communications efforts.
One year ago I was spending much of my time on airplanes, in airports and in meeting rooms on Capitol Hill as I was shuttling back-and-forth between California and Washington, D.C., to be part of concluding negotiations on an immigration reform deal.
Today, during its annual retreat, House Republicans released their immigration reform standards. The standards have been anxiously anticipated by immigration reform supporters and provide the framework the GOP will use to guide the party through the forthcoming immigration debate.
Statement by Western Growers president and CEO Tom Nassif on the release of the GOP Immigration Reform Standards:
“I applaud Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Cantor, and Whip Kevin McCarthy for their efforts to move immigration forward in the House. The standards drafted by the leadership represent a commitment to reforming our immigration system in a manner that respects the rule of law while strengthening the ability of agriculture to remain competitive in the world market. We especially applaud the specific acknowledgement of agriculture’s unique needs and look forward to working towards crafting a long term solution.