Congresswoman says immigration reform can help address labor shortages

A U.S. Congresswoman from Illinois says America’s broken immigration system is adding to the labor challenges facing farmers and ranchers. Nikki Budzinski, a member of the House Ag Committee, says it’s an issue she hears about regularly. “I had a pork producer who was a part of my Ag Council discussion,” she says.  “She raised labor shortages as one of their bigger impediments to actually getting the work done they need to on their farm.”

She tells Brownfield bipartisan work needs to be done to fix the issue. “What’s happening at our border is indicative of a larger problem,” she says.  “Which is that we don’t have enough asylum officers or enough immigration judges to process people appropriately that want to come and work in our country.”

Budzinski says she’d like to see a more holistic approach to immigration reform. “That includes creating a pathway to legal status for folks that want to work in our country and also securing our borders,” she says. “It’s critically important that we put politics aside, the political noise, and again work together as Democrats and Republicans.”

The bipartisan government funding bill provided funding for 22,000 additional Border Patrol agents along with 150 Customs and Border Patrol Officers.

Budzinski represents Illinois’ 13th Congressional District.

AUDIO: Congresswoman Nikki Budzinski

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