Last week, president and CEO of Western Growers, Tom Nassif, visited with the Editorial Board of the Denver Post to discuss the need for immigration reform, specifically as it relates to the agriculture industry. Nassif was accompanied by two of Western Growers newest members: Robert Sakata, Jr. of Sakata Farms and David Petrocco, Sr., of Petrocco Farms.
The Denver Post has long advocated for Congress to move on immigration reform and has featured numerous editorials on the subject, however, the editorials never dealt directly with the importance of reform for agriculture. Nassif felt it important to make the case, not only for immigration reform, but for agriculture, especially now that the prospect for the House to take up the issue in 2014 has received a shot in the arm from none other than House Speaker John Boehner.
“It was important for Western Growers to reach out to the largest newspaper in a key state to discuss the need for immigration reform for the agriculture community,” Nassif said. “With so much riding on the passage of legislation for our members and for farm workers, we have to exhaust every means possible to drum up the necessary support needed to move this legislation early in 2014.”
Another purpose was to get the paper to do a feature story that would encourage Colorado legislators to support immigration reform in the House.
Boehner recently hired noted immigration reform advocate, Rebecca Tallent, a former John McCain staffer, to serve in his inner circle, signaling an intent to move forwarded with a piecemeal approach to passing reform legislation as he previously suggested. Reform advocates also were bolstered by the Speaker’s defiance of conservative policy groups and conservative members of Congress when he openly lambasted the groups during the budget debate saying that they had “lost all credibility.”
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