Comer sees federal immigration effort as a 'step in the right direction'

01/29/2013 08:13 AM

Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said he supports federal efforts to create a path to citizenship for seasonal workers and children of illegal immigrants.

Comer, the only Republican constitutional officer in the state of Kentucky, told Pure Politics that as he has toured the state he’s met with Kentuckians who have concerns with the effects of immigration reform. But for farmers and the agriculture industry Comer said reforms are needed.

“From an agriculture standpoint our farmers in Kentucky are desperate for farm labor. And when I was growing up everybody worked out in hay fields, in tobacco fields doing manual labor, but for whatever reason it is very hard to find that labor today,” Comer said.

A bipartisan group of senators unveiled broad reforms on Monday that would create a path to citizenship for more than 11 million illegal immigrants.

Comer thought social programs have caused the decline in work ethic and workers for manual labor jobs.

“Whatever the cause there is a serious concern among the agriculture industry that there is a shortage of labor, so I think this is a step in the right direction,” Comer said before a meeting of the industrial hemp commission on Monday.

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