WASHINGTON, DC— Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Farm Workforce Modernization Act with a strong bipartisan vote. This vital legislation legislation would provide undocumented farmworkers and their immediate family members legal immigration status and a path to citizenship. FWD.us President Todd Schulte issued the following statement:
“We applaud the bipartisan effort of Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Representative Dan Newhouse (R-WA) to provide a long-overdue pathway to citizenship for undocumented farmworkers and their immediate family members through the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. This important legislation will help provide stability for farmers and the agricultural workforce. Every day, the labor of farmworkers – which is dangerous and incredibly difficult – supports the critical function of our economy and keeps our food supply chain safe and moving.
“A majority of our nation’s roughly 2.4 million farmworkers are undocumented. They go to work every day helping to keep food on our tables as essential workers, despite not knowing if they will be able to remain together and safe with their families in the country they’ve called home for decades. The contributions of undocumented farmworkers are vital to our nation’s continued public health and economic recovery from COVID-19, and they deserve the protections, safety, and peace of mind afforded by a pathway to citizenship. While we strongly support this legislation and it represents a critical step forward, it doesn’t address all of the urgent needs of our failed immigration system. We continue to believe a pathway to citizenship for the full undocumented population is vital, and believe that too many people who have had contact with the harsh and overly punitive criminal justice system are unnecessarily denied a pathway to citizenship.
“We will continue fighting to provide these individuals and their families permanent legal status, and urge Senate Leadership to pass this bill without delay to protect American families and grow our economy.”
The Farm Workforce Modernization Act — introduced by Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Chair of the Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship, and Rep. Dan Newhouse, a farmer and former Director of Washington State’s Department of Agriculture — passed the House in the last Congress by a bipartisan vote.
Nearly 80% of voters support a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants because they know this policy solution will keep families together while growing our economy. This critical population is vital to our continued public health response and economic recovery from this crisis, and our laws should reflect that.