Farmer applauds passage of immigration reform
By Michael Johnson, Editor
The Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 S. 744, which passed through the Senate last week with a vote of 68-32, looks to bring broad changes to the immigration law including doubling the patrols at the border and helping about 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. gain legal status. Another part of the bill, which has at least one local farm thankful for its passage, is a portion regarding the immigrant visas. Katie Heger, of Heger Farms in Underwood, said the revision could simplify the process of farmers getting immigrant help when no other help is available. “North Dakota is directly impacted by the section of the bill that deals with H2A visas,” Heger said. “This is a visa designed for the agriculture sector allowing foreign employees to work on farms and ranches for a period of up to 10 months.” Under the current policy, the employer has to provide transportation for the employee to and from the country and transportation while the employee is in the U.S.