Republican United States congressman Mario Diaz-Balart was in LaBelle Tuesday to meet with people in the agriculture industry about a bill he is sponsoring.
The Farm Workforce Modernization Act, is a bipartisan effort that aims to reform the current visa program which allows farm owners to employ foreign workers.
Diaz-Balart said the legislation was long over-due.
"It's becoming a crisis, they [farm owners] cannot get the people that are needed to work in our AG industry," Diaz-Balart said.
Diaz Balart said both democrats and republicans in congress agree that there needs to be a cost-effective way to secure a steady workforce.
"The system as it currently stands is dysfunctional, and so this [bill] would modernize that system," Diaz-Balart said. "Make it [H-2A Visa program] quicker, faster, less expensive while dealing with—in a very fair way—The AG workers and also interior security so that we have a legal workforce."
Diaz Balart said the bill has the support of over 300 farm groups across the country and believes it will be heard on the floor of the House.