AHC: Support for Immigration Reform is Needed Now

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June 4, 2013 -- In the coming weeks the Senate will debate the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S.744). This bill has the potential to strengthen border security and solve improve many of the immigration issues facing the horse industry. It would allow undocumented workers to legalize their status and replace the broken H-2A program with a new agricultural worker program administered by U.S. Department of Agriculture. It would also make improvements to the H-2B program and create a new W-visa low skilled program that would allow employers to hire foreign workers when no Americans can be found. More information about the bill can be found here: Senators Introduce Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill.

The American Horse Council urges members of the horse industry to call or email their Senators and ask them to support S.744.

Comprehensive immigration reform has been a priority of the horse industry for many years. Despite substantial efforts to recruit and train U.S. workers, horse farms, trainers, horse shows, and others in the horse industry have been forced to rely on foreign workers and utilize both the H-2B (non-agricultural) and H-2A (agricultural) temporary worker programs to meet their labor needs. However, the current temporary worker system is not reliable and is extremely burdensome to use.

It is important that members of the Senate hear from the horse industry in their state as they begin to debating this bill.

You can reach your Senators by calling the Congressional switchboard at 202-225-3121. Ask for your Senators' office and then ask to speak to the staff person who handles immigration issues.

Call them today and tell them:

  • You support S. 744 and comprehensive immigration reform.
  • Horse farms, trainers, horseshows, and others in the horse industry are often unable able to find Americans who are willing and able to take jobs as farm hands, grooms, and stable attendants.
  • Despite substantial efforts to recruit American workers the industry has been forced to rely on foreign workers and the H-2B and H-2A temporary worker programs to meet their labor needs.
  • The current immigration system is broken and the current temporary worker programs are costly, hard to use, and unreliable.
  • It is vital that Congress pass S.744 and ensure the horse industry has access to functioning, efficient and cost effective foreign temporary worker programs.
  • This legislation bolsters border security and provides a regulated way for undocumented workers in the U.S. to work their way to legal status.
  • S.744 has the potential to improve many of the immigration issues facing the horse industry. Please support S.744

You can also email your Senators. To find their website and contact information visit the Senate website at http://www.senate.gov/ and follow the instructions. A sample email can be found below.

It is always better if you personalize the email with information about your business, your involvement in the horse industry, and any personal experience you have had such as trouble finding American workers.

Here is the sample email you can send:

Dear Senator (Name):

I am writing to urge you to support the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S.744). This bill has the potential to improve many of the immigration and labor issues facing the American horse industry.

Despite substantial efforts to recruit and train U.S. workers, horse farms, trainers, horse shows, and others in the horse industry have been forced to rely on foreign workers and utilize both the H-2B and H-2A temporary worker programs to meet their labor needs. However, the current temporary worker system costly, unreliable and is extremely burdensome to use. 

The racing and showing segments of the industry are particularly dependent on foreign workers. The horse racing industry has a $26.1 billion economic impact and supports 380,826 jobs. The horse show industry has a $28.7 billion economic impact and supports 380,416 jobs. Foreign workers are a small portion of individuals employed by the horse industry. However, these workers play a vital role as farm hands, grooms, and stable attendants. Without these workers to care for and raise the industry’s horses, many American jobs provided by and supported by the horse industry would be in jeopardy.

It is vital that Congress pass an immigration reform bill that ensures employers have access to functioning, efficient and cost effective foreign temporary worker programs for when no U.S. workers can be found and provides a regulated way for the millions of undocumented workers in the U.S. to work their way to legal status. I believe S.744 has the potential to accomplish these goals.

Thank you for your consideration of this request. If I can provide you with any further information on the horse industry or this issue please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Your Name