By Javier Manjarres
Republican Congressman Dennis Ross has started off his second term in office by introducing five legislative bills, one of them being the Legal Agricultural Workforce Act, guest worker program for farm labor that is proposed under the authority of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), not the Department of Labor. According to Ross, the program allows participants to work for 10 months at a time, essentially making it a 10 month work visa. When asked about the real problem of these guest workers overstaying their visas, Ross stated the following-
“One of the things we talked about was paying into a fund, instead of paying FICA, which we don’t pay anyways, but pay that amount so when they finish their ten months they collect it when they go back. Which Ross adds it’s “even better, because then there is an incentive to want to go back and then there’s an incentive to want to come back because they’ll have a job when they come back.
If they wanted to stay here, they would leave their money here, but they send their money back home because that’s where their families are. They don’t necessarily want to come here as a citizen, they want to come here because of the economic opportunities. This program recognizes their desire to use this country as a source, to do jobs that domestic workers don’t want to do, and it allows them to go back home to their family and meet our needs here.” – Congressman Dennis Rosss
When asked about Senator Rubio’s recent immigration reform ideas, Ross said that he “lauds him for doing that” but like many conservatives, wants to see “the details.” Ross stresses that we need to be careful not to create a “new pathway to citizenship” for illegal immigrants. The congressman didn’t hold back on expressing his frustration about the lack of immigration reform messaging as well as the broader issue of Republican outreach to the growing Latino community, a problem that was apparent long before last year’s wipeout with Hispanics-
We didn’t’ even have the conversation, and my party wonders why we suffered in the polls in November. -Congressman Dennis Ross
Watch the interview here
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