Locals React to Bi-Partisan Immigration Plan
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - The newly released bi-partisan immigration deal looks to cover guest workers and employer verification, something many orchard owners in Mesa County have took part in for years.
The current work visa program would change, if new proposals were to go through.
Over the last six years, Bruce Talbott has temporarily hired more than 150 employees through a visa program.
“Our people were thrilled to be able to participate, they know when they’re coming to the United States, they know what they’re going to get paid, they know where they’re going to work, where they’re going to live and they know when they’re going home,” said Talbott, owner of Talbott Farms.
In the last year, complications with the program have halted Talbott’s use of guest workers. He says he hopes new reform will help fix that.
“I would really like to see something that we’re not revisiting this in another 10 years saying ‘well that obviously didn’t work,’” said Talbott.
After reading the bi-partisan plan, immigration lawyer, Imelda Mulholland says something else stuck out to her. The proposition to bump immigrants living in the U.S. illegally, to the back of the line, which aims to not interrupt those who are already in the process of getting their citizenship.
“[If] a legal permanent resident who has applied for their child who is under 21, the wait for that child to the United States is about 20 years. So if they’re sending someone to the back of the line, that’s going to be a very long time,” said Mulholland a lawyer with Hoskin, Farina & Kampf Professional Corporation.
Mulhollend says a positive part of the plan would be to increase visa quotas.
“The first say that those visas become available, the government gets a slew of applicants within a week or two weeks, all of those visas are gone for the whole year,” she said.
President Obama is planning on announcing his plan for immigration reform on Tuesday.