Koch campaign touts bipartisan group behind ag labor immigration bill

Koch campaign touts bipartisan group behind ag labor immigration bill
© Getty Images

A nonprofit group connected to conservative mega-donor Charles Koch's network on Friday announced a campaign to tout House members — Republicans and Democrats — who supported a bill to give legal status to thousands of undocumented farm workers.

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) launched the campaign, which will include mailers and digital ads, to celebrate passage of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, which cleared the House Wednesday on a bipartisan 260-165 vote.

“It is encouraging to see lawmakers work across party lines to better equip farmers and ranchers to hire the workers needed to meet industry demands," AFP Senior Vice President of Policy Jorge Lima said in a statement.

ADVERTISEMENT

The bill, a result of months of closed-door bipartisan policy discussions, would simplify the visa system for farmers to hire labor abroad and grant a new path to permanent residency for undocumented agricultural workers already in the country.

It would also grant the same path to permanent residency to family members of those agricultural workers.

The bill would also expand E-Verify, a federal database system designed to show potential employers whether individual foreign nationals are eligible to work in the United States and limit the workers' access to federal benefits.

The White House has yet to comment on the bill, although some conservative groups such as the Heritage Foundation have panned it as a form of "amnesty" for undocumented workers.

Still, the bipartisan effort marks a change in how immigration labor bills have been negotiated since 1986, and sends a bill to the Senate that's garnered support from both farmworkers and agricultural employers.

ADVERTISEMENT

"This step in the right direction is a key opportunity for the Senate to seriously debate meaningful solutions for our country’s agriculture sector," said Lima.

Senate leadership has yet to comment when or if it will take up the bill, but agricultural businesses are likely to exert significant pressure on the upper chamber to move on it.

The AFP campaign will send out mailers and digital ads in support of Reps. Zoe LofgrenZoe Ellen LofgrenThe Hill's Morning Report - Dems to lay out impeachment case to senators next week Seven things to know about the Trump trial House delivers impeachment articles to Senate MORE (D-Calif.), Tom ReedThomas (Tom) W. ReedTrump's Dingell insults disrupt GOP unity amid impeachment House votes to temporarily repeal Trump SALT deduction cap Trump shocks, earns GOP rebukes with Dingell remarks MORE (R-N.Y.), Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesDemocratic lawmaker dismisses GOP lawsuit threat: 'Take your letter and shove it' House Democrats release second batch of Parnas materials Democratic lawmaker says Nunes threatened to sue him over criticism MORE (R-Calif.), Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickFormer Pennsylvania Rep. Fitzpatrick dead at 56 Republicans came to the table on climate this year The rise of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in 2019 MORE (R-Pa.), Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikOvernight Energy: Republicans eye top spot on Natural Resources panel | GOP lawmakers push back on bill to make greener refrigerators, air conditioners | Green groups sue Trump over California fracking plans Republicans push back on bipartisan bill to make greener refrigerators, air conditioners Trump: Pelosi doesn't want to hand over 'fraudulently produced' articles of impeachment MORE (R-N.Y.), Cathy McMorris RodgersCathy McMorris RodgersKoch network could target almost 200 races in 2020, official says Lawmakers voice skepticism over Facebook's deepfake ban House Ethics Committee finds McMorris Rodgers misused official resources MORE (R-Wash.), Doug LaMalfaDouglas (Doug) LaMalfaKoch campaign touts bipartisan group behind ag labor immigration bill On The Money: Lawmakers strike spending deal | US, China reach limited trade deal ahead of tariff deadline | Lighthizer fails to quell GOP angst over new NAFTA House passes bill that would give legal status to thousands of undocumented farmworkers MORE (R-Calif.), Lloyd SmuckerLloyd Kenneth SmuckerLobbying World Koch campaign touts bipartisan group behind ag labor immigration bill Rising number of GOP lawmakers criticize Trump remarks about minority Dems MORE (R-Pa.), Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.), Abigail SpanbergerAbigail Davis SpanbergerHouse Democrats launch effort to register minority voters in key districts House passes bills to gain upper hand in race to 5G The biggest political upsets of the decade MORE (D-Va.), Mike BostMichael (Mike) J. BostMORE (R-Ill.), John ShimkusJohn Mondy ShimkusRepublicans eye legislation to rival Democrats' sweeping climate plan Overnight Energy: House passes sweeping bill on 'forever chemicals' | Green groups question Pentagon about burning of toxic chemicals | Steyer plan would open US to climate refugees House passes sweeping bill to target spread of toxic 'forever chemicals' MORE (R-Ill.), Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerPentagon exodus extends 'concerning,' 'baffling' trend of acting officials in key roles Republican group asks 'what is Trump hiding' in Times Square billboard Koch campaign touts bipartisan group behind ag labor immigration bill MORE (R-Ill.), Rodney DavisRodney Lee DavisBoth sides of the aisle call for local, state, federal cooperation on homelessness Voting equipment companies throw weight behind enhanced disclosures Voting machine vendors to testify on election security MORE (R-Ill.), David JoyceDavid Patrick JoyceKoch campaign touts bipartisan group behind ag labor immigration bill Keeping your national parks accessible even during a government shutdown Marijuana industry donations to lawmakers surge in 2019: analysis MORE (R-Ohio), Steve StiversSteven (Steve) Ernst StiversKoch campaign touts bipartisan group behind ag labor immigration bill Waters clashes with Trump officials over 'disastrous' housing plans Financial sector's work on SAFE Banking Act shows together, everyone achieves more MORE (R-Ohio), Glenn ThompsonGlenn (G.T.) W. ThompsonSheila Jackson Lee tops colleagues in House floor speaking days over past decade Koch campaign touts bipartisan group behind ag labor immigration bill Dreamers-for-wall trade going nowhere in House MORE (R-Pa.), Russ Fulcher (R-Idaho), and David McKinleyDavid Bennett McKinleyKoch campaign touts bipartisan group behind ag labor immigration bill 'Minor league cities' need new federal partnership The missing piece of the current health care debate MORE (R-W.Va.).