Rep. Carbajal Helps Usher Bipartisan Immigration Bill Through House
Carbajal played a central role in crafting the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, which provides a path to legal status for farmworkers and stability to the agriculture sector.
Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Salud Carbajal joined a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers in voting to pass the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, which makes pragmatic reforms to our immigration system by providing fairness for farmworkers and stability to agriculture producers. Rep. Carbajal played a central role as one of nine lawmakers who worked across party lines to craft the proposal and had the honor of presiding over the final vote on the bill.
"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 my community and to this nation. Agriculture is a major economic driver 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. Carbajal. "We have a lot of work to do to reform our immigration system and this bill is one focused and significant ste to accomplish that goal. This groundbreaking, bipartisan bill creates a lasting solution by providing earned legal status for existing farmworkers and it modernizes the guest worker program to ensure long term industry sustainability that supports farmworkers and growers alike."
“Our country is at its strongest when we embrace our immigrant communities. The Farm Workforce Modernization Act creates a workforce solution for America’s agriculture industry by providing stability, predictability, and fairness to one of the most critical sectors of our nation’s economy,” said Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairman, Rep. Raul Ruiz, M.D. “I would like to thank Congressman Carbajal for his leadership in working to provide legal status for farmworkers and for playing an instrumental role in drafting and passing the bipartisan Farm Workforce Modernization Act. Congressman Carbajal is a champion for farmworker and immigrant communities and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus applauds his leadership and dedication.”
“I am excited to hear about the Farm Workforce Modernization Act and how it will benefit one of the most vulnerable communities in this state -- farmworkers,” said Erica Ruvalcaba-Heredia, Director of Programs for Promotores Collaborative of San Luis Obispo. “Farmworkers are essential workers, but constantly live with fear and face other challenges due to their immigration status. They work so hard and for so many hours in the fields, and it is because of them that we have fruit and vegetables on our tables. My parents were field workers and I truly know how painful and exhausting it is to work so many hours under the sun with limited breaks. They deserve a permit to work in this county without despair.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic solidified for the American public what we have always known: Farm workers have always been essential and are crucial to America’s communities, economy and food supply," said United Farm Workers President Teresa Romero. "House passage of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act and the Dream and Promise Act in the first 100 days shows the commitment of the House to support Dreamers, TPS recipients and farm workers. The legislation is the result of thoughtful compromise among bipartisan lawmakers, agricultural employers and farm workers. We hail the House passage of legislation that honors the professional farm workers who feed the entire United States and much of the world. Through their hard work, farm workers have earned the right to a stable future in the United States. We thank Representative Zoe Lofgren and Representative Salud Carbajal for their leadership, along with a bipartisan group of House members. The Senate must act with the urgency that the moment requires to pass the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. This is the year to get it done."
“Now more than ever, the people who work on farms and ranches deserve the dignity and security of legal immigration status,” said Jamie Johansson, California Farm Bureau President. “We appreciate Rep. Carbajal’s dedication and commitment to win passage of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act.”
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 the agriculture 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 visa program specifically designed for the nation’s agriculture sector.
More information about the bill can be found here.