Western Growers’ Board of Directors are meeting in Sacramento this week to discuss a variety of topics affecting the agriculture industry. Tomorrow, Western Growers Chairman Larry Cox will gavel the meeting to order and committee meetings will follow. The Board will cover issues such as water, labor, food safety, agtech, legislative proposals, trade, and transportation issues. The full board will meet on Thursday to report on their respective discussions and to take up any items passed out of the committees.

Stephanie Metzinger

Western Growers has long advocated for Congress to take action on immigration reform in order to provide members with a legal and reliable workforce. We will continue to work toward meaningful solutions critical to the needs of our industry and the nation.

However, because of Washington’s intractable political climate, we have broadened our efforts to focus on reforming and streamlining the only program farmers can use to legally bring in foreign workers to harvest their crops – the H-2A program.

Jeff Janas

Later this spring, the Supreme Court will be taking up U.S. v. Texas, and the court’s decision in this case will determine whether the Obama Administration’s expanded deferred action program, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA),  is allowed to proceed or not. A number of groups across the country and in California are preparing to file amicus (“friend of the court”) briefs urging the court to allow the DAPA program to proceed.

Jeff Janas

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has recently begun to intensify its Form I-9 enforcement activities. It has been reported that a flurry of Notice of Inspections (NOIs) have recently been sent to Santa Maria agricultural employers. The NOI results in an audit of the employer’s Form I-9s and often triggers the dismissal of a large percentage of the company’s falsely documented employees.

Jeff Janas

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Immigration

Immigration has been a critical issue for Western Growers members. For years, we have fought for a legal and stable workforce that not only supports our industry but ensures those who have worked along side our members are treated with decency and respect.

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