Congressman Cleaver addresses large crowd about importance of comprehensive immigration reform.
Recently I had the honor of bringing Congressman Luis Gutierrez of Illinois to Missouri's Fifth District to talk about comprehensive immigration reform. Congressman Gutierrez, as you know, is one of the leading advocates for such reform in the United States House of Representatives. He and I led an Immigration Town Hall at Penn Valley Community College in Kansas City. More than two hundred area residents came to attend, ask questions, and find out the latest developments on this historic legislation.
For the first time in a very long time, I believe the Senate and the House are on the right path to passing meaningful reform. One of the issues many people in the rural areas of my district have talked to me about is the shortage of a stable and legal workforce. This is one of the reasons I want to see reform accomplished. Farmers, producers, and ranchers in Missouri's Fifth District need and deserve the chance to have experienced and willing workers. I am in favor of provisions in the reform that will make that happen, including a blue card program and a new agricultural visa program to make sure future needs are met.
You have often heard me lament the lack of cooperation and bipartisanship on this, and so many other issues, in Washington. But I believe the time has come for this comprehensive reform. And I am seeing efforts from both sides of the aisle to work together and move forward on this. Congressman Gutierrez, the long time leader in the House, shared with us many stories about his work to retool immigration. One of them was his conversations with Republicans and Democrats alike, who are expressing a real desire to find a compromise and get this done.
I am very grateful to the many agricultural leaders throughout my district who have offered advice and expertise in this area. I will continue to listen to all who are interested in this issue and encourage you to reach out to me to share your thoughts. You can do so by calling my Kansas City office at (816) 842-4545 or my office in Washington at (202) 225-4535. You can also visit my website: http://cleaver.house.gov. I appreciate all of the feedback I receive and will continue to let you know the very latest on this effort.