Friday, September 26, 2003


On Tuesday, September 23, 2003, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D.-Mass.), Rep. Howard Berman (D.-Calif.), Sen. Larry Craig (R.-Idaho), Rep. Chris Cannon (R.-Utah), Rep. Ciro Rodriguez (chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus) held a press conference to announce their introduction of legislation containing a compromise among them and between the United Farm Workers of America (AFL-CIO) and major agribusiness employer organizations. The Farm Labor Organizing Committee (AFL-CIO) and many other farmworker advocacy organizations are taking steps to ensure swift passage of this compromise.
The bill's name is THE AGRICULTURAL JOBS, OPPORTUNITY, BENEFITS AND SECURITY ACT OF 2003 (AGJOBS). In the House of Representatives, its number is H.R. 3142. In the Senate, it is S.1645. In the Senate, there were 9 Republicans 10 Democrats as original cosponsors. To download an analysis of the bill (in pdf format, requiring Adobe Acrobat Reader), click here.

Background info Washington Post
August 20, 2001

'Bush Goes Slow on Immigrant Amnesty'
By Dana Milbank

. . ."What the president said the last time I talked to him is we've got to be careful not to overpromise," said Rep. Chris Cannon (R-Utah), who is likely to be Bush's point man on immigration in the House. "This is a system with a lot of resistance. He wants change, but he wants it in an orderly, reasonable fashion."
. . . Cannon said he and the administration would not be content to pass a guest worker program that allows Mexicans to work in the United States temporarily without a legalization component.
. . . Next year would come some intermediate steps. Cannon and others have sought ways to extend student visas and other benefits to children of illegal immigrants who have been in American schools for several years.
. . . Also next year will be another attempt to create a guest-worker program for agricultural workers. The most recent effort was blocked last year by Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Tex.), who favors a restrictive version that would require all guest workers to return home.
. . . Bush aides selected Cannon, a junior member of the immigration subcommittee, over more senior lawmakers such as Gekas and Sensenbrenner because of his pro-immigration leanings, people close to the White House say.
. . . Bush officials said that if he doesn't improve on the 35 percent of the Hispanic vote he received in 2000, he will lose in 2004. "This isn't a thing you have to convince the president of," Cannon said. "He's real predictable on these issues."

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