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Hanna Pushes Dairy Farm Immigration Reform

Congressman Richard Hanna says it's time to move legislation forward that would help dairy farmers get the help they need on their farms.
Congressman Richard Hanna says it's time to move legislation forward that would help dairy farmers get the help they need on their farms. It's part of the hot-button topic of immigration reform.

Hanna and a group of dairy farmers that we talked with say the reality is that many citizens don't want to work long, hard hours on dairy farms.Hanna says dairy farmers need to have access to a critical visa program, which other parts of agriculture do. Hanna says some dairy farmers are basically forced to become what the law considers criminals to secure their needed workforce. Some immigrant visas only are valid for 10 months at a certain location, while other are good longer. Hanna says allowing immigrants to work up to three years at a farm, when domestic labor isn't available, would ease the burden on many farmers.

"I'm disappointed that we're not addressing immigration. There are lots of points of immigration that we could easily adopt that are generally agreed upon," said Hanna. "But it's a tough environment. People are concerned about a number of issues including that everything doesn't become a path to citizenship. But, regardless of how we handle it, we need to handle it."

Hanna, a Republican, is sponsoring the legislation with two other Democratic Congressmen. 
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