10:46 P.M (MST)
The agriculture industry in Yuma County accounts for an annual economic return of $3.2 billion dollars for the area, which accounts for more than a third of the entire states annual total.
Is it estimated that as much as sixty percent of the agricultural workforce provides false visa documents, so giving those people a chance to legitimize their stay here in the United States to work is crucial.
One section of the newly proposed immigration reforms would make it easier for those who wish to work here in the United States to obtain a work visa card.
Tim Dunn, a Yuma farmer and vice president of the Arizona Farmers Bureau, says this would be a major step forward for the industry.
“What’s key and critical to agriculture is that we talk about the visa reforms and how we are going to continue to have a stable workforce. There’s a workforce here in Yuma that would be able to come out of the shadows, be able to get this new card, and that is critical to our success, to have those employees stay in agriculture.”
Dunn also says that people do not always realize the type of work being done by farm employees, and how vital it is to have access to workers who have experience in the industry.
“It requires a skilled workforce to be able to pack produce, harvest wheat, and be able to use a hoe in a specific motion,” he says. It is that kind of work ethic, and those who want to get those long hours that will continue to drive the agriculture industry.”