Farmworker Justice Statement on Bipartisan Senate Immigration Principles

Bipartisan Senate Effort Begins Conversation to Place Farmworkers and Other Aspiring Americans on Path to Citizenship

Farmworker Justice commends efforts by eight Senators to reach an immigration policy solution that would grant a road map to citizenship for eleven million undocumented people in this country. "After years of delay that have harmed farmworkers and their families, we see the potential for positive immigration reform but recognize that much work lies ahead to achieve legislation that respects the people who grow and harvest our fruits and vegetables," said Farmworker Justice’s President Bruce Goldstein. “We are pleased that the Senators’ statement of principles specifically recognizes the valuable contributions to the nation by agricultural workers who perform ‘very important and difficult work to maintain America’s food supply while earning subsistence wages.’”

Farmworker Justice is committed to immigration reform that empowers farmworkers to improve their inadequate wages and working conditions to bring an end to decades of poverty and abuse. A roadmap to citizenship and strong and equal labor protections are key to these goals. We are pleased to see bipartisan agreement on the importance of a roadmap to citizenship but believe that the still developing details are integral to ensuring that such a process is reasonable and realistic for farmworkers and other aspiring Americans.

In discussing future labor needs, the proposal calls for “strong labor protections” and an opportunity for workers to earn permanent resident immigration status. These and other critically important safeguards are key to protecting workers, and will help farmworkers improve their wages and working conditions. The statement of principles offers hope that we can move forward with meaningful discussion about immigration reform and not repeat past battles over proposals for harsh agricultural guestworker programs.

Farmworker Justice will continue to monitor developments and assist farmworker organizations as legislators begin to draft bills and work through the many details that must be decided.