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Monday, May 19, 2008

Bipartisan Push for Immigrant Workers

in the news

Feinstein, Lofgren push for immigrant workers

(05-16) 04:00 PDT Washington - -- Two of California's most immigrant-dependent industries - agriculture and Silicon Valley - are pushing narrow measures through Congress in an effort to employ foreign workers at opposite ends of the labor market, people who pick vegetables and the postgraduate engineers and scientists of Silicon Valley.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein attached a farm guest-worker program to the giant Iraq spending bill Thursday in a last-ditch effort to remedy a shortage of workers in California's produce fields as the federal government continues to crack down on illegal immigration and the political climate proves hostile to more sweeping measures.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose, teaming with Republicans, is pushing several bills to give permanent residence to top engineering talent.

"It's an emergency," Feinstein said of the farmworker situation. "If you can't get people to prune, to plant, to pick, to pack, you can't run a farm."... >>continue


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