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Immigration Reform: Implications for Farmers, Farm Workers, and US Agriculture

Immigration Reform:
Implications for Farmers, Farm Workers, and US Agriculture

Meeting and Lodging: UC-DC
1608 Rhode Island Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036
Tel 202-974-6200 Fax: 202-974-6250
Wednesday-Thursday June 14-15, 2006

At least 50 percent of US farm workers are not authorized to be employed in the US. Immigration reform may provide a path to legal status for some currently unauthorized farm workers and make it easier for farm employers to employ legal guest workers under a revised H-2A temporary worker program.

The purpose of this conference is to assess the provisions of pending immigration reform proposals, the roles of legal and unauthorized farm workers in US agriculture and MSFW programs in integrating migrants and their children, and the longer term implications of immigration on agricultural competitiveness and rural communities. The aim is to have Washington people alert researchers to potential immigration changes and the questions about immigration and agriculture to which they would like answers, and allow researchers to report on the current impacts of immigration. The outcome will be a research agenda for anticipating and evaluating the impacts of immigration reform on agriculture.

This conference is organized with the support of the Farm, Giannini, Northwest Area, and Smith Richardson Foundations, with additional help from the California Institute for the Study of Specialty Crops, the UC Washington Center, and the Institute for the Study of International Migration at Georgetown University.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

8am Breakfast available in conference room on the ground floor 9am Welcome and Introductions, Philip Martin, UCD 9:15 Immigration Patterns, 1986-2006, Jeff Passel, Pew Hispanic Center 10 Break

10:15 Congressional Staff Panel: What has Congress debated and/or approved?
George Fishman, House
Marc Rosenblum, Senate

11:15 The Changing Food System: Implications for Farmers and Workers Cal Dooley (former D-CA), National Food Products Association

12:15 Lunch

1:30 Federal Planning for Immigration Reform
Jim Hrubovcak, USDA
Bill Carlson, DOL
Lisa Roney, DHS

2:15 Federal MSFW Assistance Programs
Francisco Garcia, Office of Migrant Education
Alina Walker, National Farmworker Jobs Program
Brenda Coakley, Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Technical Assistance Center
Susan Harris, USDA

3:00 Break

3:15 Lessons from 1986: IRCA's Ag Provisions, Chair, Susan Martin, ISIM
Philip Martin, UC-Davis
Jim Holt, James S. Holt & Company, LLC
Bruce Goldstein, FJF

4:45 Adjourn and reception Thursday, June 15, 2006

8am Breakfast available in conference room on the ground floor

9:00 Regional Perspectives and Farm Labor Research Needs (12 minutes each)
CA, FL, IA, Wally Huffman, ISU
California, Don Villarejo, Davis
Florida, Bob Emerson, Lurleen Walters, Fritz Roka, U-Florida
Mountain states, Dawn Thilmany, Colorado State Uni
Daniel Carroll, US Department of Labor
Northeast, Janelle M. Larson, Penn State
Discussants: Bruce Goldstein, FJF, Hinda Seif, Rutgers

10:45 Break

11:00 Immigrants, Farm-Related Industries, Communities (12 minutes each)
William Kandel, USDA Cornelia Flora and Marta Maldonado, Iowa State University
Georgeanne Artz, University of Missouri
David Griffith, E Carolina University
Max Pfeffer and Pilar Parra, Cornell University
Victor Garcia, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
John-Paul Chaisson-Cardenas, Northwest Area Foundation
Discussants: Mark Miller, U-Delaware, Sarah Low, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

12:30 Lunch

1:30 Developing the Farm Labor Research Agenda

  1. The changing demand for farm labor
  2. Farm worker characteristics, earnings and mobility
  3. The farm labor market: wages and benefits, contractors, unions
  4. Ex-farm workers and their children: integration
  5. Immigration's impacts on agricultural and rural communities

3:00 Adjourn