Statement by Jim Bair,
President & CEO
U.S. Apple Association
Re: Today’s House Vote on Immigration Bill

“We are disappointed that provisions to address agriculture labor were not included in the immigration package voted on by the House of Representatives earlier today.

“We commend the efforts of Reps. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.), Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) and David Valadao (R-Calif.) who for weeks worked hard to include workable agriculture labor provisions in the immigration legislation. The harvesting, packing and processing of apples and apple products is labor intensive and heavily dependent on migrant labor, H-2A and H-2B workers. The current system is unstable and each year growers face uncertainty as to whether there will be sufficient labor to harvest the crop. Some even must leave apples on the trees to rot for lack of workers to harvest them.

“A stable, legal and reliable workforce is critical if we are to continue to have a vibrant domestic apple supply. We firmly believe that a package addressing agriculture’s labor needs can garner the support needed. We stand ready to work with the leadership and key Members toward that goal.”