Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today announced that AgJOBS has been included in the comprehensive immigration reform package that will be introduced in the Senate early next week.
The following are Senator Feinstein’s remarks as delivered at an afternoon news conference to discuss the comprehensive immigration reform bill:
“I want to say thank you to the Administration, Secretary Chertoff, Secretary Gutierrez, and to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle.
To the American people I’d like to say: Please don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good.
This is one of the most difficult arenas in which to legislate, because it is a highly emotional area of human endeavor. And people have strong, well-entrenched beliefs.
What we have tried to do here is listen to both sides, take into consideration arguments made by both sides, and try to come together on a bill that will not certainly please everyone, but a bill which will solve the basic problems that Senator Kennedy and others have enumerated here today.
These issues include strong border security, a stable border. There is a certain trigger that these things plus adequate border patrol have to be in place; adequate employer sanctions in place, before the legalization of the undocumented begins.
Every poll that I have seen in my state, California – which has approximately three million people in undocumented status, indicates that 80 percent of the people want to see a pathway so that people can come out of the shadows, work legally, work honestly, and prevent this sub rosa work force.
I think we have it in this bill. Some of us have been very involved – Senator Craig and I, Senator Leahy, Representative Berman, in trying to see that we have a consistent labor force for agriculture – the one industry in America that almost solely depends on an undocumented workforce. I believe we have achieved it in this bill.
The AgJOBS bill is part of this bill. We have a few things that some of us will get together later today to try to work out.
But this is a good bill, this is a deserving bill this is a balanced bill, and I believe it is fair to the best interests of the United States of America.”