Farmworker Justice Immigration Update

Momentum to pass comprehensive immigration reform continues to build. The White House has hinted that President Obama’s State of the Union Address may outline his immigration proposal. An increasing number of Senators and Representatives are speaking about reaching a compromise. Even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and labor leaders have been working together to press for legislative action. Efforts at a legislative compromise face many obstacles. Read more on the full blog.

New Grower Immigration Group: The Agriculture Workforce Coalition Releases Troubling Statement on Immigration Policy

A new agribusiness coalition, the Agriculture Workforce Coalition, has formed to promote an immigration policy proposal. It is not yet clear what exactly they are proposing as they have published only a brief statement about its contents. While some of the description may seem reasonable and simple, it appears in reality to be a complicated proposal for several guestworker programs from which longstanding protections for U.S. workers and vulnerable foreign workers have been omitted. Read more on full blog.

Rep. Ross introduces “Legal Agricultural Workforce Act”: A 19th Century Policy for the 21st Century

The Legal Agricultural Workforce Act, HR 242 would create a massive new guestworker proposal with no meaningful labor protections. Ross ignores the lessons of history by eliminating virtually all of the labor protections that have been recognized for decades as necessary to prevent displacement of U.S. workers, depression of U.S. workers’ wage rates, and exploitation of foreign citizens. His proposal would devastate America’s farmworkers and endanger our nation’s food system. Moreover, Rep. Ross’s guestworker legislation does nothing to provide status for current undocumented farmworkers.  Read more on full blog

Forward With Your Promise Caravan Heads to Washington to Press for Immigration Reform

A group of Florida immigrant organizations, including the Farmworker Association of Florida, has embarked on a caravan from Florida to Washington, DC, to urge President Obama and Congress to follow through on his promises to pass comprehensive immigration reform this year. Read more on the full blog.

Congratulations to Librada Paz on RFK Human Rights Award

Farmworker Justice congratulates Librada Paz for her receipt of the 2012 RFK Human Rights Award and the tremendous advocacy she does on behalf of farmworkers in NY to achieve equal protection under the law. Today’s award ceremony featured great speeches by Librada Paz, Kerry Kennedy, and Dolores Huerta. 

According to the RFK Center press release:

GAO Study on H-2A Visa Program Forgot Farmworkers

The new US Government Accountability Office report, “H-2A Visa Program: Modernization and Improved Guidance Could Reduce Employer Application Burden,” stresses the need for the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to “improve the customer experience;” however, it only focuses on one kind of customer: employers. Though their voices aren’t as loud as the growers’, farmworkers and prospective farmworkers are also DOL’s “customers,” yet their perspective is notably absent from the report’s analysis.

Farmworkers in the News: Sept 17-21

More on Growers Calls for Agricultural Guestworker Programs Last week there was an increased number of articles on labor shortages and calls for new guestworker programs.

Media Round-Up: Continued Calls for Guestworker Programs

In the last few weeks, media coverage of agriculture has demonstrated the continued call by growers and politicians, including in the 2012 Republican Party Platform, for a new guestworker program or streamlining the existing H-2A temporary agricultural guestworker program to remove worker protections and government oversight.  These articles exaggerate claims of labor shortages and critique the H-2A programs’ worker protections as part of a campaign to gain public sympathy for a new guestworker program that woul

Farmworkers in the News- August 13, 2012

More on Growers’ Allegations of Labor Shortages -Many news stories in the last few weeks have reported on growers’ fears of labor shortages and  an array of possible causes, including immigration enforcement and growers’ unwillingness to pay sufficient wages to attract workers.  In Georgia, an editorial on labor shortages blamed the passage of Georgia’s anti-immigrant law for what growers claim was a 40 percent labor shortage in seven key crops

Farmworkers in the News: July 9-12

Progress for farmworkers in California- Congratulations to the UFW and the 200 Gargulio, Inc. tomato workers who voted to join the union last Wednesday, despite threats and intimidation by company officials.  This victory came a couple of months after approximately 800 UFW workers signed their first union contract with tomato grower, Pacific Triple E, bringing them wage increases from 12% - 57%.

Farmworkers in the News: Late June 2012

The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of news.  As you probably all know, the Supreme Court issued two major rulings two weeks ago, one upholding President Obama’s health care reform law and one sending a strong message that the regulation of immigration is a federal issue by striking down as unconstitutional several provisions of Arizona’s harsh immigration law, SB 1070.

Farmworker Justice Statement on Supreme Court Decision on Arizona Immigration Law

Supreme Court Decision in Arizona Demonstrates Need for Congressional Action on Immigration Policy: Court Strikes Down Several Provisions of Arizona’s Anti-Immigrant Law as Unconstitutional, but Leaves in Place Provision that Inevitably Leads to Racial Profiling


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