IMMOKALEE-- An Immokalee Chamber of Commerce meet and greet featured Mario Diaz-Balart, U.S. Representative for the Florida’s 25th congressional district. The event took place March 22, , at First Bank in Immokalee. Congressman Diaz-Balart spoke on topics that touched community.
That same day, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, a bipartisan bill spearheaded by Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart, along with Dan Newhouse, U.S. Representative for Washington's 4th congressional district, and their colleagues, was passed by the House.
The bill was developed with input from agricultural stakeholders and labor organizations, with the goal of reforming the H-2A agricultural guestworker program and creating a first-of-its-kind, merit-based visa program specifically designed for the nation’s agricultural sector.
“The Farm Workforce Modernization Act is a piece of legislation that my colleagues and I spent almost a year negotiating and working on,” said Rep. Diaz-Balart. “This bill modernizes our antiquated H2A visa system that America’s farmers and growers have long suffered from and provides stability and permanence to agricultural workers; all while strengthening our national security, bolstering our economy, and adhering to the rule of law. Today, we took a significant and necessary step once again toward finally solving the labor crisis facing our nation’s agriculture industry. As I have always stated, it is absolutely critical that we continue to grow and produce our food here in our own backyard. Once we hand that power to another country, we not only risk our national security but also destroy millions of American jobs. I am proud to be one of the main negotiators of this crucial legislation, and I urge my colleagues in the Senate to work with us, so this bill can finally be signed into law."
The bill has the support of more than 300 agriculture groups and labor organizations from across the nation.
“Thanks to Congressman Diaz-Balart’s leadership, the importance of the agriculture workforce crisis has come to the forefront at the highest levels of government, bringing the promise of a solution for our industry in the near future,” said Paul Meador, Managing Partner of Bear Hammock Grove, LLC, and Constituent from LaBelle, FL.
“Today’s passage marks an important step forward for farmers, ranchers, and farmworkers. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to perfect the legislation, send it to the President’s desk, and deliver historic and meaningful reforms for American agriculture,” said Rep. Newhouse.