Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) has abruptly chosen to quit supporting the controversial Democrat-led farm amnesty bill after offering early support, noting the act threatens America’s rural communities regarding agriculture jobs.
“Even though Senator Crapo has said he’ll work on a Senate version of the bill, we should add he won’t support the existing House-passed version,” Lindsay Northern, Crapo’s communications director, told Breitbart News.
“Senator Crapo supports helping Idaho farm producers with problems they have under the existing system, such as concerns over liability and the fact dairy producers need a year-round, stable workforce. In all, 34 Idaho industries support improving the workforce system. Crapo continues to work with those business leaders on potential solutions.”
The current farm amnesty bill would give at least one million farm workers amnesty within America, not including family members, who would be eligible under the act. The bill also offers farm employers the ability to hire an unlimited number of H-2A visa workers for a wide range of jobs, undercutting many American workers.
The bill cuts wages for H-2A visa workers and allows 40,000 family-packs of American green cards each year. Income previously going to American workers would instead flow to foreign visa workers and, in many cases, out of country, hurting rural areas already in need of financial help.
The numbers of H-2A visa workers is already a giant part of the agricultural industry. Current visa holders have reached nearly 300,000 annually, up from 100,000 in 2014.
Immigration has continued to grow as a chief concern among both Republicans and Democrats in recent weeks. With more than 100,000 illegal immigrants crossing the southern border in February alone, the nation is on track to receive more than one million illegal immigrants by the end of 2021.
The agricultural bill marks a new development in the immigration battle. Most concerns have focused on criminal acts by illegal immigrants or border area chaos rather than the harm of visa workers in the agricultural industry.
Immigration has become an issue across multiple industries, including agriculture. Sen. Crapo’s caution regarding the new bill stands as a growing awareness of the need to oppose efforts that add to Biden’s immigration crisis.