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Testimony underway on immigration reform - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Testimony underway on immigration reform

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WASHINGTON -

Testimony is underway on Capitol Hill for the new immigration reform bill -- and two Vermonters are there to represent the state's concerns.

Senator Patrick Leahy has invited Alyson Eastman of Orwell to talk about the role of foreign farm workers in the state's agriculture industry. And the state's tourism commissioner, Megan Smith, will testify about the need for seasonal workers in the travel and ski industry.

In his opening statement, Leahy spoke out against critics who he said tried to use the Boston Marathon bombings to derail immigration reform. "Let no one be so cruel as to try to use these heinous acts of these two young men last week to derail the dreams and futures of these hard-working people," he said.

Senators tasked with crafting the bill said business and labor groups have agreed, in principle, to a guest worker program. The bill also provides a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the county.

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