LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- The secretary of the department of agriculture was in Las Vegas this afternoon talking immigration.
Secretary Tom Vilsak says immigration reform is critical for the agriculture industry. News 3's Sergio Avila just spoke to the secretary who is supporting the immigration bill currently in the senate.
Secretary Tom Vilsak says immigration plays a huge role in the agriculture industry and believes this bill will be a huge benefit.
During his speech to the LULAC Convention Vilsak cited a new study just completed by the congressional budget office that says the immigration reform bill would increase tax revenue.
That same report found the extra cash would reduce the federal deficit by $197 billion in 10 years.
He says creating a guest worker program would solidify an agriculture workforce and improve the industry.
Vilsak says currently the agriculture industry has been threatened by our current system because the workforce in the fields is so unstable.
“When we have fruits and vegetables and other agricultural products not being picked or harvested because there are just not enough people to pick them, we run the risk of those companies choosing not to plant the products in the United States,” Vilsak said.
Vilsak says the problem is being seen in California where he says 80,000 acres of production has moved out of the country because of labor shortages.