Carbajal, Bipartisan Lawmakers Introduce Farmworker Focused Immigration Proposal
Washington, D.C., March 4, 2021
Washington, DC – Yesterday, Rep. Carbajal joined a bipartisan group of House members in reintroducing the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. The bill, formally introduced by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA), creates lasting reform to our immigration system to address workforce shortages in the agriculture industry and provide stability and fairness for farmworkers. Rep. Carbajal is part of a team of nine members that crafted the bill, which included five Democrats and four Republicans to ensure it could achieve bipartisan consensus.
"My father was a farmworker and I spent summers working with him in the fields, so I know firsthand how important the labor of those who harvest our food is to this nation. Agriculture is the number one industry in my district and I have heard countless times from producers about the devastating labor shortage that stems from our broken immigration system," said Rep. Salud Carbajal. "We have a lot of work to do to reform our immigration system and this bill is one focused but significant step to accomplish that goal. This groundbreaking, bipartisan bill creates a lasting solution by providing earned legal status for our existing agricultural workforce, and modernizing the guest worker program to ensure long term industry sustainability that supports farmworkers and growers alike."
The bill, which previously passed the House with bipartisan support during the 116th Congress in December 2019, was negotiated over several months that year with input from agricultural industry and labor stakeholders. It provides for earned legal status for existing farmworkers, makes meaningful reforms to the H-2A agricultural guest worker program and creates a first-of-its-kind, merit-based visa program specifically designed for the nation’s agricultural sector.
More information about the bill can be found here.
Rep. Salud Carbajal represents California’s 24th congressional district, encompassing Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and part of Ventura County.