first 100 days

first 100 days

Senator Lindsey Graham Addresses Questions from the SC Farm Bureau Concerning Immigration

1d ago
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South Carolina Farm Bureau Question Concerning Immigration: Q: Senator, we have a question that comes from South Carolina, as a matter of fact. Their Farm Bureau sent this in, and I'm asking it on their behalf. Would you sign an executive order, in your first 100 days in office, to ease some of the regulations within the H-2A guest worker program that are impacting farming order of operations? A: Senator Lindsey Graham: "Let's talk about immigration. We're down to two workers in the next 20 years to 25 years, for every retiree. That's a problem for Social Security. You've got fewer people paying in, right? You've got more people taking out who live longer. Well where do you get the workers in the future? You know, Strom Thurmond had four kids after he was 67. Do I have any volunteers? One guy raised his hand, but he didn't understand the question. So, we're going to need a robust immigration system that's legal. The H-2A program has limits on it. You have to provide housing, it's a very expensive program. I would reform it. The senate bill that passed did reform the H-2A program. It basically sunset it after two years, and increased the visas you could have available to the agricultural community. And here's the secret. As the American workforce declines, my goal as your president is to find workers who would come here, temporarily, benefit them and their families, and help us too. Because I don't want farmers to leave this country because they can't find workers. Any farmers here? It's pretty hard to find workers folks. You ever been to a meat packing plant? Most of them are Hispanic. Now let me tell you, to my friends in the republican party, we're not going to fix this system by yelling about it. To those who think we need to limit legal immigration, what movie are you looking at? Where do the workers come from in agriculture, and other areas of our economy? I'm in South Carolina, big tourism industry. We're having a hard time finding service workers. When the PGA came to Kiawah Island and Charleston I had to go back to get 600 Jamaican maids to come in here to service the tournament. So not only would I reform the H-2A program, I would create a brand new immigration system based on merit. As to the 11 million, once we secure our border, increase legal immigration and control who gets a job. Non-crooks can stay. Felons are not welcome. They can go into agriculture if they like. But I'd create guest worker program more robust than we have today, where people could come here for three years and work, make money, and go back home and have somebody else come to supplement our economy. To those who yell about immigration, you've obviously never run a farm. We need workers in the future, and I'll make sure the workers come here legally. And they can meet the IRS like the rest of us."