Perdue discusses immigration issues with Mexican counterparts

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says there was progress in resolving immigrant labor issues with Mexico during this week’s mission there. In a conference call shortly after returning to Washington, D.C. Thursday, Secretary Perdue said he discussed having Mexico pre-certify immigrant workers to legitimize entry into the U.S. for the purpose of providing farm labor.

“[Mexican authorities] and I feel like it would also help to resolve, as they’ve deemed the “irregular immigration”, or illegal immigration that we’ve been plagued by, by having an avenue for these people to come in a legitimate, government-to-government type of certified program,” Secretary Perdue told reporters Thursday.

Perdue says such pre-certification would be an advantage to U.S. farmers who need workers, as well as to Mexicans seeking to improve themselves.

“They can come here and earn a good living based on their standard of living here in seasonal way,” said Secretary Perdue, “and then even go back with the training they’ve learned here and become small stakeholder entrepreneurs in their own country.”

Perdue says having Mexico pre-certify workers would also eliminate illicit labor recruiters who he says often do not play by the rules.

AUDIO: Sonny Perdue news conference

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