Without these reforms to our nationís immigration system, Americans everywhere will feel the consequences. Less and less fruit, vegetables and milk will be grown close to home. More importantly, the cost of these goods will rise, making it even more difficult for parents to feed their families or for schools to provide children with nutritious meals. More dairy and produce will be imported, many times from countries that do not have the same safeguards in place. As America is forced to increase dependency on foreign food supplies, and we import more and export less, our national economy will undoubtedly suffer greatly as a result. Every farm worker tending specialty crops or livestock supports two to three farm-dependent jobs in our economy. As we export our agriculture industries, we export American jobs.
The debate regarding comprehensive reform is a complicated one. Reforming our nationís immigration system is a massive undertaking that should be carefully examined. It is clear that the cost of inaction is far too great. We must act now to protect Americaís breadbasket.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.