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.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.