They all oppose this bill because they have read the language and they know that its provisions would decimate our workforce.
Mar 13, 2018
This letter from Western Growers is in response to our newsletter of March 1st titled 'Different Views'. It is our policy to let both sides make their points:
To Families Protecting the Valley,
I don’t know Mr. Western but his comments reveal breathtaking ignorance. I don’t mind WGA taking criticism from within the family of ag, but in this case maybe Mr. Western should speak to any of the 44 members of our board of directors. I can assure him that every one of these men and women know damn well “who they truly represent.” Their unanimous vote to oppose HR 4760 was based on their years-long involvement with, and knowledge of, the legislation and the process that brought it to this point. They know the grinding work Tom Nassif and the entire WGA team has put into immigration reform for more than a decade, including negotiating the ag provisions of the 2013 Senate bill that passed on a bipartisan vote, and including years of work with Chairman Goodlatte on these very provisions. Or he could speak to the leaders of any of these other California ag organizations, each of which is led by boards of directors comprised of growers, ranchers and other agriculturalists:
CA Farm Bureau
CA Fresh Fruit Association
CA Citrus Mutual
CA Tomato Growers Association
Grower-Shipper Assoc. of Central California
Grower-Shipper Assoc. of Santa Barbara/San Luis Obispo
Ventura County Ag Association
Imperial Valley Vegetable Growers Association
CA Grain and Feed Association
CA Association of Wheat Growers
CA Pear Growers Association
CA Alfalfa and Forage Association
CA Ag Irrigation Association
CA Warehouse Association
CA State Floral Association
CA Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers
Nisei Farmers League
CA Cut Flower Commission
CA Canning Peach Association
Blue Diamond Growers
American Pistachio Growers Association
CA Olive Oil Producers Association
They all oppose this bill because they have read the language and they know that its provisions would decimate our workforce. It has nothing to do with DACA. It has everything to do with the so-called “touch-back” provisions of the bill. Which provisions, by the way, American Farm Bureau also acknowledged in their support statement as being problematic and requiring additional work. Perhaps Mr. Western didn’t actually read American Farm Bureau’s statement on this bill.
The statement WGA issued (linked here) states with specificity what our concerns are. FPV should publish it asap. I don’t appreciate uninformed and incorrect statements being blasted around the ag community. FPV’s communications are usually quite sound and of benefit to the industry. But this one is so foolish that the mere act of publishing it, couched as “Different Views,” diminishes FPV’s credibility, and I think that’s a shame. FPV should use far greater judgment with the platform it has created.
I am available to discuss this with you further. I would appreciate a response.
Executive Vice President
15525 Sand Canyon Ave | Irvine | CA | 92618
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