ANLA Meets With Secretary Of Commerce
Matt Edmundson of Arbor Valley Nursery, Brighton, Colo., met with United States Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez recently in Colorado Springs, Colo., to discuss the issue of comprehensive immigration reform and the positive economic impact immigrant workers provide in the U.S. economy. Edmundson, a member of the American Nursery & Landscape Association (ANLA), joined several other local business and community leaders in discussing the need for comprehensive reform with the senior Bush Administration Cabinet official.
“We have a broken immigration system and real labor shortages in agriculture in Colorado and throughout the United States,” said Edmundson. “Without a realistic way to retain the current labor force – much of which is feared to be unauthorized – and a plan for a future flow of temporary workers, our industry would be placed in a position where we could not meet the needs of our customers. Without seasonal and entry-level labor, there would be damaging ripple effects including the loss of American jobs felt throughout our industry and our economy.”
Following up on previous visits to Atlanta, Ga., and Las Vegas, Nev., Secretary Gutierrez visited the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs to meet with local business leaders in an effort to gain insights into how their businesses would be affected if Congress acts on a comprehensive immigration reform bill this year. “In order for the United States to remain competitive, we must pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill this year,” noted Gutierrez during the meeting.
“As an immigrant himself, Secretary Gutierrez understands the need for immigrant labor in our workforce,” said Edmundson. “I’m pleased to have seen such support and understanding from the Bush Administration regarding our issues and the need for reform soon, not later.” He continued, “Business and agriculture must refocus and double our efforts on advocating for comprehensive immigration reform. This is a battle that must be won in the districts. Members of Congress need to know what the consequences of inaction will be.”