WASHINGTON— Today, the House of Representatives voted on the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. The legislation provides a pathway to citizenship for more than 1 million agricultural workers and their families. Additionally, the bill addresses the future labor needs of the agricultural sector by modernizing the outdated H-2A guestworker program. After the legislation passed, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva issued the following statement:
“The pandemic has reinforced what we already knew: farm workers are essential workers and the backbone of America. Each day as the pandemic rages across America, farmworkers reported to work, picked the food we enjoyed on our tables, and secured our food supply. Providing them and their families with a pathway to citizenship is the least we can do to honor their invaluable work.
“We cannot keep treating farm workers like second-class citizens. I have long advocated for fair labor standards and better workplace protections to keep them safe on the job. The fight doesn’t stop here, I will continue to work with my colleagues to further policies that will improve the lives of farm workers, such as passing the Fairness for Farm Workers Act which will remedy the discriminatory denial of overtime pay and the minimum wage to farm workers under the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act.”