WASHINGTON – In response to Congress failing to include immigration solutions in the omnibus package, the American Business Immigration Coalition Action Executive Director Rebecca Shi issued the following statement:
“We regret that this Congress failed to show the courage to advance immigration solutions for farm workers and farmers, for Dreamers and the U.S. economy and consumers. There is a reason why Congress is one of the most unpopular institutions in our nation. At the end of the day, Republicans still prefer to complain about the border than to compromise on solutions, and Democrats have much higher priorities than standing up for hard working immigrants.
“Over 90% of DACA recipients are employed, in school or serve in the military, and bringing 2 million Dreamers out of the shadows would create more than 1.4 million jobs for Americans and $46 billion in economic spending.
“America’s farmers are struggling to find the workers they need to stay in business, driving record high food inflation. American families are spending 20% more for their holiday dinners this year including 21% more for meats, milk and eggs. Meanwhile, according to the USDA, next year, for the first time in U.S. history, we as a country will be importing more agricultural goods than we export.
“ABIC Action salutes Senators Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) who worked to address both the need for order at our border and a just solution for Dreamers. In the House of Representatives, Republicans Mike Simpson and Dan Newhouse joined Democrats Zoe Lofgren and Salud Carbajal to pass bipartisan solutions for farm workers and farmers, protecting our nation’s food security and reducing inflation.
“Unfortunately this bill failed in an effort to join it to the Senate Omnibus budget bill. Senator Michael Bennett (D-CO) fought for this solution until the very end. His Republican partner Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) walked away from the table before a deal was finalized.
“You don’t win when one player quits before the work is done. The American Farm Bureau – almost alone among agricultural employers – never worked to move solutions forward. This may explain why Republican Senators who represent farm states were sadly absent in advancing the bipartisan House legislation. Farm workers, farmers, and anyone in America who eats will suffer as a result. If Democrats allow a vote on extending Title 42, while doing nothing to extend protections for immigrants, they should return home hanging their heads in shame, as their nice words about immigrants mean nothing.
“ABIC Action will return in January in our fight to find elected officials who have the courage to compromise on actual solutions to our broken immigration system.“