The Food Manufacturers Immigration Coalition today praised the introduction of legislation that would assist in establishing a stable workforce that can help sustain the rural communities where farmers, ranchers and food manufacturers grow and process the nation’s and world’s food supply.

“The introduction of this legislation, and the bill introduced in the Senate, are important first steps in the immigration reform process, which will be a dynamic debate featuring many proposals to reform our flawed immigration process,” the coalition said. “We commend Chairman Goodlatte, and we look forward to working on a comprehensive approach to immigration reform.”

The Agricultural Guestworker Act, introduced by House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), replaces the impractical H-2A program with a sensible guestworker program. The new program, known as H-2C, modernizes and streamlines the agricultural guestworker program and would be administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the federal agency that understands the unique needs of America’s food manufacturers and farm and ranch operations.