Sen. Feinstein, Rep. Gutiérrez, Labor Movement Advocates Review Efforts to Protect Immigrant Farmworkers and Discuss Their Contributions

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

Senator Feinstein (D-CA), Rep. Gutiérrez (D-IL), and United Farm Worker President Arturo S. Rodriguez joined farm workers and labor advocates to overview the widespread implications of Trump’s immigration policies and the Agricultural Worker Program Act, legislation recently introduced by Senators Feinstein, Leahy (D-VT), Bennet (D-CO), Hirono (D-HI), and Harris (D-CA) and soon to be introduced in the House by Rep. Gutiérrez to protect farm workers from deportation and put them on a pathway to legalization and citizenship. Trump’s Mass Deportation strategy has produced fear tidalwaves throughout not only the immigrant communities, but all sectors of the labor force — as over half of all United States farm workers are undocumented, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, and over eight million undocumented immigrants contribute to America’s workforce, according to Pew Research Center.

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

Representative Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL), said, “I have traveled many, many times to Delano, the Central Coast, and the Big Valley and all over California and met with farm workers. They are among the hardest working and most vulnerable people I have ever met. That is why we are working to build support for the bill in the House and plan to introduce the Agricultural Worker Program Act in our chamber in the next few weeks. Farm workers provide backbreaking labor that keeps our economy going and keeps our food production on American soil. But we do not fully recognize those contributions by allowing workers to work legally, protected by our labor laws, and fully integrating into American society. This legislation moves us in the direction of recognizing their humanity, their aspirations, their families and their future in this country. This legislation says that we value your contributions and see them as legitimate and our laws ought to reflect that.”

Arturo S. Rodriguez, President, United Farm Workers of America, said, “The United Farm Workers cheers the Agricultural Workers Program Act introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein because it would let farm workers presently in this country earn the legal right to stay by continuing to work in agriculture. The Agricultural Workers Program Act recognizes that the people who feed our nation should be given the chance to be here legally. Overwhelmingly, farm workers do the tough, brutal work of feeding all of us. Their sacrifice, skill and hard work produce the greatest bounty of food the world has ever known—a bounty over which we give thanks each day at our dinner tables. So it is long past time that the law should allow these professional farm workers to freely enjoy the fruits of the production they create for us all.”

Comments are closed.