Monday, January 27, 2020

Dems Introduce Bill to Grant Farm Workers Legal Status

This week, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and the Democrats introduced a bill to give foreign agricultural workers a path to legal citizenship. The bill would grant agricultural workers a “blue card,” offering them temporary residency and a work permit, granted they had worked in the industry for 100 days over the past two years.

“The people who feed us should have an opportunity to work here legally,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein Tuesday. The blue card would pave the way for an eventual green card and citizenship over time.

In a Republican-controlled Congress, the bill faces a near impossible path to passage, especially with the Trump administration set on cracking down on illegal immigration. Lawmakers have not passed significant immigration law since 2006.

“They tell me they can’t find workers, that workers are scared, that they’re afraid they’re going to be picked up and deported, that they’ve disappeared, and they tell me that some of them are looking at developing operations on leased land in Mexico,” said Senator Feinstein.

Feinstein says that farm owners in California are struggling to find workers, given the political climate of the Trump administration’s immigration enforcement tactics. Farm owners believe the U.S. food industry has only two choices, “import our food or import our labor.”

The Hill