South Dakota needs a Commissioner of Immigration
Guest column by Todd Meierhenry
Where did all our workers go? That is a question everyone is asking who is looking to fill a position in South Dakota. With the South Dakota unemployment rate at 2.5 percent, how do we get workers?
There may be help on the horizon for farms and ranches. Last month Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colorado, and Senator Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, introduced a farm immigration bill. The bi-partisan bill would provide a path to citizenship for certain immigrant agricultural workers and would also reform aspects of the H-2A temporary visa program. It would require many years of working in the ag sector before citizenship would be considered.
Since the 1970s, our state has focused on the promotion and relocation of manufacturing, banking, and ag processing companies to the state. But today, if a company comes to South Dakota, where do they find workers? Maybe it is time to focus on the promotion and relocation of labor to South Dakota.
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