WI manufacturing, agriculture leaders frame immigration as econo - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

WI manufacturing, agriculture leaders frame immigration as economic issue

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DE PERE (WKOW) -- State leaders in manufacturing and agriculture say immigration reform is essential to their businesses, as they try to define the immigration debate as an economic issue.

"It's time now to make changes," said Laurie Fischer, director of dairy policy for the Wisconsin Dairy Business Association. "We want to work with the Senate and the House and businesses around the country to make sure there is a way to ensure there are workers who will stay here and help us run our dairy farms."

The manager of the Nestle USA pizza plant in Little Chute says immigrants are essential to maintaining his workforce of 1,200, telling Press-Gazette about 30% of his employees are Hispanic or Hmong immigrants.

The flood of unaccompanied child immigrants that has overwhelmed Border Patrol agents in South Texas comes at a time when the White House and Congress are sparring over the issue of immigration.

U.S. House Republicans have made it clear they have no plans to take up comprehensive immigration reform this year, but President Obama has promised executive actions that will change to the nation's immigration system.

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