● Now that President Obama has issued his executive order related to immigration, advocates for agricultural employers who have been working intensively but fruitlessly for many years seeking a federal legislative solution–will need to rethink the matter over the course of this winter.
When the new 114th Congress convenes next January, under the control of Republicans, will there be any real chance to move meaningful immigration reform legislation? Should agricultural employers scale back and refocus on regulatory improvements to current Department of Labor farm worker programs? Or, double-down and continue to seek a comprehensive reform measure?
Or, try to achieve more targeted legislation aimed solely at a farm worker fix? Other lingering questions: what will be the actual number of current undocumented agricultural workers who step forward to take advantage of the President’s offer? How angry and intransigent will the Republicans continue to be given the importance of the Hispanic sector to their party’s future presidential election hopes?
● The Presidential Medal of Freedom was awarded today at the White House by President Obama to several prominent Americans, including Meryl Streep. Those apple growers who lived through the Alar crisis of the late 1980s will cringe.
● Allan Mustard, a person our office has often worked with in India on technical trade issues, was confirmed last Wednesday by the U.S. Senate as our nation’s next ambassador to Turkmenistan. Ambassador Mustard, a native of Washington state, has been the USDA/Foreign Agricultural Service’s minister-counselor posted to New Delhi.
● The Smithsonian Institution’s 2015 fruit crate label wall-calendar features a number of apple labels from our industry’s past: to order one of these great calendars just go to Amazon.com.
● In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln, “in the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity”, made a presidential proclamation that fixed the last Thursday of November as a national day of Thanksgiving.