WASHINGTON— Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5038, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, a bipartisan bill that would establish a new renewable visa program for qualifying agricultural workers and their families to earn legal status through continued employment in the agricultural industry while allowing farmers and growers to meet their labor needs.
“The farm workers who pick the food that feeds America’s families deserve better than living in fear under Trump’s draconian immigration enforcement policies,” said Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva. “This bill makes important changes to our immigration system that will ensure farm workers and their families no longer live in fear of deportation and can legally work to provide for their families.”
H.R. 5038 allows for current farm workers to apply for a temporary, renewable Certified Agricultural Worker (CAW) legal status as long as workers continue working in the agricultural industry. After a period of time, background checks, and a $1000 fine, farm workers will be able to access a path to legal permanent residence. Additionally, the bill will also revise the H-2A visa program.
“Farm workers work long hours in some of the most hazardous industries, and this legislation treats farm workers with fairness and rewards them for the back-breaking labor they undertake to put food on the table for all of our constituents,” continued Grijalva. “Farm workers in America feed the world, and it is long past time that we treat them and their families with the respect and dignity they deserve.”
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