Agriculture
7:55 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Ag Secretary Vilsack weighs-in on immigration reform

Comprehensive immigration reform is critical to sustaining the Midwest's role as a global leader in agriculture.

 That's the message from U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

 Vilsack says that moving forward with the immigration reform plan recently passed by the U-S Senate is key to retaining international talent that comes to this country to study in the plant sciences.

  "Immigration reform focuses on making sure that the visa program for those scientists, those researchers, is doable.  That it provides greater flexibility than the current system and gives us the capacity to attract more talent from around the world."

 Vilsack also says the Senate plan expands the guest worker program which would make it easier to maintain a steady and legal supply of farm labor.

 Some Republican leaders in the GOP controlled U-S House of Representatives have criticized the Senate's plan, saying in part that it is too vague when it comes to ensuring border security.