WASHINGTON, D.C. – Craig Regelbrugge, vice president for government relations for American Horticultural Industry (AmericanHort), described President Barack Obama’s recent  series of executive actions on immigration policy as politically divisive, in a recent blog.

Regelbrugge said that the President’s measures are intended to provide relief from deportation and work authority to unauthorized immigrans who are not legally present in the US but have been her for five or more years, and have US-born children. Many Republican lawmakers, however, say that Obama’s action "poisons the well" for reform, he added.

Nobody has definitive statistics regarding how many nursery, greenhouse, landscape and other horticulture workers meet these requirements, although it’s generally believed the number is in the thousands, wrote the AmericanHort spokesperson.

Republicans, responding to the President’s action, can do nothing. They can try to kill the President’s action through political or legal blocking maneuvers or they can mobilize to pass needed legislative solutions that supercede and replace the executive actions, according to Regelbrugge.

"We know that new legislation is the only real solution that can bring about a 21st century immigration system for a 21st century America, and so our commitment to the legislative process must remain strong. Hindsight being 20/20, we may look back and conclude that President Obama’s action was a catalyst for Congressional action that should have happened seven or 14 years ago," he said.

To read the blog, click here.

House Rebukes Obama on Immigration (Associated Press, Dec. 6), click here.