Farmworker Justice Applauds the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’s Comprehensive Immigration Reform Principles
Farmworker Justice commends the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’s declaration of its commitment to fighting for comprehensive immigration reform as demonstrated through its announced principles. In One Nation: Principles on Immigration Reform and Our Commitment to the American Dream, the CHC promises to fight for a roadmap to citizenship for our country’s 11 million undocumented immigrants, specifically including farmworkers. Given Farmworker Justice’s history of advocacy on guestworker programs, we are particularly pleased that the CHC is calling to end “the exploitation of U.S. and immigrant workers by providing sufficient, safe, and legal avenues for foreign workers to fill legitimate gaps in our workforce, with full labor rights, protection from discrimination, and a reasonable path to permanency that lifts up wages and working conditions for both native and foreign-born workers and their families.”
As with the rest of the 11 million aspiring citizens, immigration reform is urgently needed for farmworkers. More than one-half of the approximately 2 million farmworkers are undocumented. Farmworkers’ lack of immigration status, combined with labor laws that discriminate against them and the labor practices of many agricultural employers has created an agricultural labor system that is unsustainable and fundamentally unfair to the farmworkers who harvest our food. A sensible process for America’s undocumented farmworkers to become citizens is critical to ensuring that we have a stable, legal farm labor force that is treated fairly. Farmworker Justice looks forward to working with the CHC and other Members of Congress to ensure that the American Dream becomes a reality for our nation’s farmworkers.