The Senate,this afternoon, passed a couple of procedural votes that will allow a comprehensive Immigration Reform measure to come to the floor for amendments and debate. The bill, S. 744, will likely be the main, if not only, bill that is debated on the Senate floor for the next three weeks. The bill very likely could see a vote on final passage by the Fourth of July. Senator Rubio has expressed a desire to be done with the bill by the July 4 recess.
There are several in the Senate that have deep seeded feelings on both sides. This is likely to be a very passionate debate. Most Democrats are lining up in favor of the bill and Republicans seem quite split on the masure. The bill has been crafted by a bi-partisan group of 8 Senators with 2 additional Senators who worked primarily on the Ag portions of the bill.
For Agriculture, the bill proposes a “Blue Card” adjustment of status for experienced workers currently working in agriculture. They must prove they have been working in ag for a period of time and then continue to work in agriculture for a period of years after the bill passes. There is also a new visa program that will eventually replace the H2A program. Without getting into a lot of detail, the ag provisions seem to be something that gins could work with.
Obviously, this is going to take some time and we will get updates out to you as soon as we can.