Farmworker Justice Urges House to Move Forward with Roadmap to Citizenship for 11 million, including farmworkers

Farmworker Justice, a national advocacy organization for farmworkers, today urged the House of Representatives to pass legislation to reform our broken immigration system and create a roadmap to citizenship for 11 million undocumented people in this country.

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

     Of the approximately 2 million seasonal workers on U.S. farms and ranches, over one-half are immigrants who lack authorized immigration status. These farmworkers are a vital part of our economy and food system, yet their living and working conditions are inadequate and many are victims of our broken immigration system Congress should enact legislation that makes citizenship attainable for the 11 million immigrants who already are living and working in this country and aspire to it,, including farmworkers and their family members. An above-board agricultural labor relations system will lead to better working conditions, less turnover and higher productivity, all of which will help ensure a prosperous and more secure agricultural sector for workers, growers and the nation.

    Proposals for anachronistic guestworker programs should be rejected as inconsistent with America’s economic and democratic freedoms. These “guest” programs have failed to meet and balance the needs of growers and workers in the past and there is no reason to think they will work better going forward.

    Immigration reform should be a stepping stone toward modernizing agricultural labor practices and treating farmworkers with the respect they deserve. A roadmap to citizenship and strong and equal labor protections are key to these goals.