Farmworker Justice Statement: Rep. Luis Gutierrez Introduces Agricultural Worker Program Act of 2017 in House


Washington, D.C- Today, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), joined by 26 cosponsors, introduced the “Agricultural Worker Program Act of 2017.” It is the companion to the bill of the same name introduced by Sen. Feinstein three weeks ago, S.1034. The bill would allow many undocumented farmworkers and their family members the opportunity to earn legal immigration status and citizenship.


Farmworker Justice strongly supports the Agricultural Worker Program Act because it would provide a needed, meaningful opportunity for farmworkers and family members to earn lawful permanent residency with a path to citizenship. The farmworkers and family members who obtain immigration status under this legislation would no longer have to live and work in fear of arrest and deportation.  The bill would help stabilize the farm labor force, providing farms and ranches with authorized, experienced farmworkers.
 
Farmworker Justice welcomes the introduction of this bill in the House of Representatives by Rep. Gutierrez, who is a member of the Judiciary Committee and for many years has advocated for reasonable immigration reform and for fair treatment of farmworker families. The Agricultural Worker Program Act is supported by many labor, immigrant rights and other organizations, including the United Farm Workers, the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, PCUN (Oregon’s farmworker union) and the National Farm Worker Ministry.    
 The Agricultural Worker Program Act stands in stark contrast to other bills in the House and Senate that would create harsh agricultural guestworker programs with no meaningful solution for the current undocumented farmworkers or their employers who depend on their skills, experience and knowledge. 
 
For more information on the bill, please see our Fact Sheet.