The American Farm Bureau Federation, as part of a multi-industry coalition of 636 business organizations—154 of them agriculture-related—urged Congress to move forward with immigration reform this year.

In a letter sent to House Republican leadership, the coalition noted that all of the signatories are “united in the belief that we can and must do better for our economy and country by modernizing our immigration system.” Further, “Done properly, reform will deter illegal immigration, protect and complement our U.S. workforce, better respond to changing economic and demographic needs, and generate greater productivity and economic activity, while respecting family unity.”

The signatories included 246 businesses of every size and sector across the country and 390 business associations, bureaus, federations and chambers representing a broad cross-section of industries and commercial interests.

“Failure to act is not an option,” noted the letter. “We cannot afford to be content and watch a dysfunctional immigration system work against our overall national interest. In short, immigration reform is an essential element of a jobs agenda and economic growth. It will add talent, innovation, investment, products, businesses, jobs and dynamism to our economy.”

The signatories to the letter expressed support for Congress and the administration using the House Republicans’ “Standards for Immigration Reform” as guideposts for action this year.