Green Industry: Immigration reform needed

July 31, 2013 -  By
NJ Legislative Day contingent

New Jersey landscape and snow professionals participated in Legislative Day on the Hill on July 23. From left: George Futterknecht, Wood Landscapes; Ray Cole, Elite Landscaping; Joe Ehrenreich, Youngs Landscape Management; Dominick Mondi, NJNLA; Jody Shilan, NJLCA; Chris Marino, Xtreme Snow Pros, Thomas Nastasi and Matthew Peterson, Mills Insurance.

More than 400 leading U.S. businesses and advocacy organizations–including the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET), Irrigation Association and the American Nursery & Landscape Association–signed a letter calling on the U.S. Congress on July 30 to enact immigration reform legislation. This move came one week after nearly 200 people participated in PLANET’s annual Legislative Day on the Hill event in Washington D.C., where immigration reform and the H-2B guest-worker visa program were major points of interest.

This year’s Legislative Day on the Hill turnout was a 60 percent increase over last year’s attendance. Members of PLANET and its partner organizations–Tree Care Industry Association, Snow & Ice Management Association and Accredited Snow Contractors Association–met with legislative office staff from 25 states.

The letter was signed by a broad cross section of industries, including agriculture, housing, retail, tourism, hospitality, technology, engineering, manufacturing, finance, venture capital, consumer electronics and others with a combined presence in every state in the U.S. It was addressed to U.S. House Speaker John Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, urging Congress to enact legislation that would reform “an outdated, broken immigration system,” saying such change is is essential to fully revitalize the economy.

“Done right, reform will also serve to protect and complement our U.S. workforce, generating greater productivity and economic activity that will lead to new innovations, products, businesses and jobs in communities across the U.S.,” the letter said.

About the Author:

Marisa Palmieri is an experienced Green Industry editor who's won numerous awards for her coverage of the landscape and golf course markets from the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA), the Press Club of Cleveland and the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE). In 2007, ASBPE named her a Young Leader. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism, cum laude, from Ohio University’s Scripps School of Journalism.

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