The Partnership for a New American Economy and the American Farm Bureau Federation on Thursday released a new ad calling on Congress to pass immigration reform legislation.
The ad features Bernie Thiel, a Texas farmer who has had to destroy some of his own crops for two years in a row because he has been unable to find the workers he needs to harvest.
The ad, which premiered today in Washington, D.C. taxis and airports, will continue to play in the Reagan National and Dulles International airports; Movie theatres in 16 key congressional districts; Rodeos in Idaho and Louisiana; and state fairs.
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"A farmer should never have to destroy a crop due to the lack of an adequate labor force," said American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman. "If that situation doesn't illustrate the clear need for agricultural labor reform, I'm not sure what will.
"Ultimately, as a nation we will decide whether we import our labor or import our food. While our nation's current political climate makes comprehensive reform a challenge, we are determined that ensuring an adequate farm workforce and securing our borders are compatible goals that are worthy of continued pursuit."
Partnership for a New American Economy Chairman John Feinblatt said the ad "sends a clear message to Congress: if you don't fix our broken immigration system, it's American farms that will feel the pain."
"Our farmers are struggling to do their jobs because they don't have the workers they need. So while Congress does nothing to address agriculture labor shortages, farms fail, food rots, and we import more produce from overseas," Feinblatt said.
View the ad below.