Bennet Meets with Farmers, Discusses Need to Fix Our Immigration System

Continues Bipartisan Push to Fix Broken System for Rural Coloradans

August 28, 2013

Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today met with farmers on the Hanagan family-owned farm to discuss the need to fix our broken immigration system. The current complicated and inefficient visa system has made it difficult for farmers to get the seasonal workers they need, forcing them to watch crops die in the field.

Bennet was joined by Eric Hanagan, owner of Hanagan Farms, and Michael Hirakata, owner of Hirakata Farms outside Rocky Ford, and other local growers and producers in the region.

“Our broken immigration system is hurting industries throughout our economy, including right here on our farms and ranches in Colorado,” Bennet said. “Producers are struggling to find workers to help harvest their crops and tend to livestock. We need the House to act on immigration so we can put in place a workable system that keeps farmers from needlessly watching their crops die in the fields due to a shortage of workers.”

Bennet helped incorporate the voices of rural Coloradans in the bipartisan immigration bill, which he helped craft as a member of the “Gang of 8.” It eliminates the unworkable H2A system for agriculture workers, replacing it with a new streamlined system. The bill passed the Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support.

This event is part of Bennet’s tour of the Eastern Plains to highlight issues facing the region and discuss federal legislation that significantly affects rural Coloradans, including the bipartisan immigration and farm bills.

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