A White House statement this week says there will be no further Congressional action this year to reform U.S. immigration policies. The United Fresh Produce Association, a trade group that represents U.S. fruit and vegetable industry, had something to say about that.

The group urged the House of Representatives to take up immigration reform, rather than cede all action to the Administration.  United Fresh President & CEO Tom Stenzel, in a written statement, said:

“We appreciate President Obama’s commitment to try to address our broken immigration policy through executive action, but urge the House of Representatives not to abandon their responsibility to address this serious issue.  The House needs only to bring reform proposals to the floor for members to debate, revise and pass as they see fit.  This would allow the House and Senate to work out their differences and craft a compromise, which is the way Congress is supposed to work. 

“If the House continues to disregard its responsibility to address this issue, the produce industry has no choice but to work with the Administration on short-term administrative patches that will be appreciated, but are ultimately unsatisfactory.  Our industry is committed to providing Americans with an abundant supply of nutritious, healthy produce essential to their physical well-being.  But it is a basic fact that we face a declining and inadequate workforce to harvest and distribute U.S. grown fruits and vegetables. 

"Congressional inaction on immigration reform is driving fruit and vegetable production out of the United State, costing U.S. consumers and farmers millions of dollars, and eliminating jobs across the produce supply chain.  United Fresh remains committed to working with any member of Congress – and the Administration – to drive meaningful immigration reform.”