May 17 2021
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  IMMAGRATION   Farmworker visas to US  

Story by Emily Cureton - Story Source
Published on Saturday March 20, 2021 - 1:25 AM

Oregon's only Republican in Congress broke with his party on a policy issue for the first time this week since taking federal office. Rep. Cliff Bentz split over an immigration bill aimed at farmworker visas and backed by nearly all House Democrats and the Biden administration.

The Farm Workforce Modernization Act is one of two bills to overhaul the immigration system passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday. HB 1603 establishes a system for agricultural workers to earn temporary status with an eventual option to become a permanent resident, as NPR reported. Spouses and children of workers could also apply for temporary status under the act.

Just 30 out of 211 House Republicans voted in favor of the bill, which seeks to change the existing H2-A visa program.

"The H2-A program, which allows people to come into America legally, is an absolutely essential program because it allows farmers, ranchers, nurseries, dairies and everybody that needs help, to find that help," Bentz said.