Immigration and Labor Rights

Farmworkers and Immigration: Priorities for Reform

The public debate on immigration policy vitally affects the agricultural workers who cultivate and harvest our food. More than 80% of farmworkers are immigrants. Of the approximately 2 million seasonal workers on U.S. farms and ranches, over one-half lack authorized immigration status. Farmworkers work extremely hard, often in hazardous conditions, for very low wages, and perform an essential role in bringing food to our table. Congress should enact legislation that reforms our broken immigration system and creates a road map to citizenship for undocumented farmworkers and their family members and for any immigrants who may be needed on our farms in the future. Proposals for anachronistic guestworker programs should be rejected as inconsistent with America's economic and democratic freedoms. Immigration reform should be a stepping stone toward modernizing agricultural labor practices and treating farmworkers with the respect they deserve.

A Farm Worker with Dreams has DACA Application Approved

Farmworker Justice has been working with the UFW Foundation and other farmworker groups to identify and address some of the unique barriers that farmworkers and their family members may face in accessing the recent Obama Administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative. The following guest blog by John Menditto, CEO, East Coast Migrant Head Start Program, highlights a successful story of a farmworker who was recently accepted into the DACA program.

EEOC Settlement Highlights Discrimination against US Workers in H-2A Program

A recent settlement between the EEOC and a Georgia grower demonstrates the rampant discrimination against US workers in the H-2A agricultural guestworker program. The Georgia grower, Hamilton Growers, Inc.,aka Southern Valley Fruit and Vegetable, Inc.,agreed to pay $500,000 to the farmworkers and to implement non-discriminatory hiring and employment measures to ensure that US workers are hired and retained.

What the Invisible Farm Labor Shortage Is Really About

John Carney's article highlights the real reasons growers have been complaining about the H-2A program and falsely claiming labor shortages-- it supports their broad interest in "enacting policies to crush already low farm wages by allowing farmers to import more foreign workers."

What the Invisible Farm Labor Shortage Is Really About
By John Carney

This is No Time for Piecemeal Immigration Legislation: Oppose the Stem Jobs Act

The STEM Jobs Act will be voted on in the House of Representatives Friday morning. Farmworker Justice and the United Farm Workers urge Congressional Representatives to reject this flawed bill and approach. Instead, they should come to the table to discuss an immigration process that would provide a roadmap to citizenship for America’s 11 million undocumented immigrants, including more than half of our Nation’s farmworkers. Farmworkers and their families demonstrate a commitment to America and are doing their part to contribute to our economy and communities.

Be Wary of Exploiting Immigrants: Farmworker Justice's Washington Post Letter to the Editor

With extensive knowledge of legalization and guestworker programs, Farmworker Justice has a lot to offer the general public, immigration and labor advocates, and policymakers in the new immigration policy debate. The Washington Post on Sunday published our letter to the editor as a "Taking Exception" opinion - responding to a Post editorial.

Farmworker Justice Applauds Establishment of New César E. Chávez National Monument

Farmworker Justice, a national advocacy organization for the rights of farmworkers, today praised President Obama’s dedication of a new monument to civil rights and labor leader César E. Chávez in Keene, California.

Bruce Goldstein, President of Farmworker Justice, made the following statement:

An Attack on the Enforcement of the Minimum Wage

A recent article in the Oregonian featured attacks on the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) for bringing a lawsuit against three blueberry growers that resulted in settlements of back pay of tens of thousands of dollars to farmworkers.  The criticism claimed that the DOL was heavy-handed and anti-business.  It’s time to clear things up.

We’re a nation of immigrants, not ‘guests’ - OpEd by Farmworker Justice in Miami Herald

With the nation’s attention focused on Tampa Bay for the Republican Convention, Mitt Romney’s party has adopted a platform on immigration policy that is increasingly focused on enforcement and “self deportation.” The party also called for a new “guest worker program” to import foreign workers under temporary work visas.

But our country has already relied on marginalized guest workers for too long. It’s a system that is broken and inhumane. Guest worker programs shouldn’t be enlarged, they should be abandoned.

CA Senate Passes Overtime Law for Farmworkers: Urge Governor Brown to Support the Legislation

Farmworker Justice applauds the progress of an overtime protection for farmworkers in California. CA State Senate passed AB 1313 which would give farmworkers the right to overtime pay when they work more than 8 hours in a day or 40 hours in a week.Urge Governor Brown to sign this landmark legislation.


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