Western Growers Supports President Bush's Call for Immigration Reform, Guest Worker Program

Leading Agriculture Group Urges Effective, Timely Action on Comprehensive

Immigration Reform

Nov 30, 2005, 00:00 ET from Western Growers

    IRVINE, Calif., Nov. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Western Growers today supported
 President Bush's renewed push for immigration reform and called for swift
 action to enact an effective guest worker program in conjunction with strong
 border enforcement.  The President called for action on comprehensive
 immigration during speeches in Arizona and Texas earlier this week.
     "It is long past time for this nation to come to grips with reality and
 fix our immigration policy," said Tom Nassif, President and CEO of Western
 Growers.  "We fully support the President's recognition that effective
 immigration reform consists of much more than talking tough and sealing the
 border.  This nation needs a legal, stable foreign work force and that means
 an effective guest worker program as a key element of any immigration reform
     Western Growers has been a major proponent of immigration reform
 throughout the past year and Nassif has been a prominent advocate of a
 comprehensive immigration reform package which would include some form of
 guest worker program.
     "We were heartened to see the President maintain his call for a guest
 worker program," said Nassif.  "The political pressure to abandon this key
 element of immigration reform is enormous, but without a guest worker program,
 immigration reform will fail.  Calling a guest worker program amnesty may be
 politically expedient in the 2006 election cycle, but it is nothing more than
 pandering and any policy that fails to recognize the reality of 11 million
 foreign workers in this country would be a travesty."
     Nassif welcomed promised action by Congress on the issue in early 2006.
 "The country has been promised action on this critical issue by Majority
 Leader Frist and others early next year," said Nassif.  "We welcome action to
 secure our borders and make our nation safe.  We also welcome action to
 legalize our work force and finally create an immigration policy that makes
     Western Growers is an agricultural trade association whose members grow,
 pack and ship 90 percent of the fresh vegetables and nearly 70 percent of the
 fresh fruit and nuts grown in Arizona and California, about one-half of the
 nation's fresh produce.  For more information, visit www.wga.com.

SOURCE Western Growers