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RESOLUTION AS INTRODUCED 2007-2008

JOINT SENATE RESOLUTION

State of Vermont

Senate Chamber

Montpelier, Vermont

Joint Senate Resolution


   By Senators Giard, Ayer, Bartlett, Campbell, Kittell, Nitka and White,

     J.R.S. 22.  Joint resolution urging Congress to enact S. 340 the “Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits, and Security Act of 2007” (the AgJOBS Act of 2007).

Whereas, agricultural operations in Vermont require many labor intensive roles that Vermonters are no longer willing to perform, and    

Whereas, in search of individuals to accept these jobs, Vermont’s agricultural managers have turned to foreign workers to perform these tasks, and

Whereas, the federal H-2A program allows foreigners to enter the United States for seasonal employment in the agricultural sector, and

Whereas, for many years, apple orchard owners, especially in Grand Isle County, have availed themselves of the H-2A program with great success, and

Whereas, there are now approximately 2,000 foreign workers employed on dairy farms across the state with a large concentration in Addison County, and

Whereas, unlike the apple picking season that lasts for a limited period of time in the late summer and early fall, dairy farming continues 365 days a year, and

Whereas, the seasonal limitation placed on H-2A workers means that a large percentage of the foreign employees on dairy farms, although excellent workers and essential to their employers’ business operations, is working in the United States illegally, and

Whereas, in order to enable these dairy farm employees and similarly situated persons in other states to remain on the job, a number of United States senators, including Senator Leahy of Vermont, have introduced S.340, the AgJOBS Act of 2007, and

Whereas, the provisions of the AgJOBS Act provide that foreign workers, who satisfy further work requirements, have not committed serious criminal offenses; apply within the time limits provided; and are otherwise admissible under the provisions of federal immigration law may be granted blue card status, and

Whereas, foreign workers granted blue card status would be considered “lawfully admitted for permanent residence” except for the receipt of certain federal benefits, and they would be afforded procedural rights and protections with respect to their employment, and

Whereas, the act contains provisions for a foreign worker who has been granted blue card status to gain permanent residence status subject to the completion of additional work requirements, the payment of any federal income taxes owed, and the absence of any major criminal activity, and

Whereas, the act also makes provisions for the residence of spouses and minor children, and

Whereas, the burden of producing documentation to qualify for an upgraded residency status would rest with the foreign worker, and

Whereas, the act also makes important revisions to the H-2A temporary worker program that provide employment preferences for American citizens and green card holders while affording procedural rights and minimum working conditions for the covered foreign workers, and

Whereas, S.340 represents a fair balancing of the interests of the agricultural community, American workers, foreign workers, and the federal government’s legitimate need to protect the integrity of our nation’s borders, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly urges Congress to enact S.340, the “Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits, and Security Act of 2007,” (the AgJOBS Act of 2007), and be it further

Resolved:  That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the members of the Vermont Congressional delegation.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

____________________________              Attested to:

President of the Senate

 

____________________________              ____________________________

Speaker of the House                                     David A. Gibson

                                                                      Secretary of the Senate

 

                                                                      Date:_______________________

 

 



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us