(Host) Hundreds of Mexican immigrants work in Vermont’s dairy barns. And one Vermont Lawmaker says he will make sure they are considered as the Senate debates newly crafted immigration legislation.
Benjamin Shaw reports from Capitol Hill.
(Shaw) A bi-partisan group of 9 senators have agreed on a bill that would boost the number of border agents, crack down on companies that hire illegal workers, and allow undocumented immigrants an eight-year path to getting a green card.
The bill would create a temporary worker program to ensure immigrants are available to pick seasonal crops.
It’s estimated that half of Vermont’s milk production comes from year-round Mexican workers.
Vermont Democrat, Senator Patrick Leahy says he will make sure these workers are considered as well.
(Leahy) I think we can do a system for agriculture workers that reflect the fact that some agricultural workers are not seasonal they are year round. Dairy farmers fall in that category.
(Shaw) He expects such a system to be included in the final agreement.
President Bush supports the bill. But many on the right say the plan amounts to amnesty. While some on the left say its inhumane to families. And the legislation may face a tough battle in the House.
(Shaw) For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Benjamin Shaw on Capitol Hill.