“This report puts a finer point on the specific aspects of immigration reform and the benefits to agriculture in rural communities; which we hope will inform the debate,” Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack told reporters this week.
He said if the system is not fixed we will continue to see a decrease in agricultural production, outputs and exports, which will cost farm income and jobs.
The report also outlines the positive results of immigration reform if it is passed.
“It will provide employment security for workers and their families. It will improve working conditions for all workers. It will provide a fair marketplace for producers who are currently playing by the rules and it will lead to population growth in rural communities,” Vilsack said.
Other benefits include a more secure border, a two-year extension of the Social Security system, and a deficit reduction of $850 billion over 20 years. Vilsack reported that it will add jobs and also increase the pace of innovation in U.S. because immigrants are twice as more likely to start a small business.
“You can see the benefits and really the drawbacks are few and far between,” he said.