WASHINGTON, D.C. — A bipartisan bill introduced today presents Congress with a new opportunity to pass much-needed immigration and workforce reforms.
The Farm Workforce Modernization Act, co-sponsored by Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-California) and Dan Newhouse (R-Washington) provides a path for current farm workers to earn legal status, creating stability and opportunity for a critical labor force. The bill has more than 40 original co-sponsors, including 20 Republicans.
Hundreds of organizations sent a letter to House leadership today urging lawmakers to support the bill to address labor needs and modernize American immigration.
“Economists have found that every farm worker engaged in high-value, labor-intensive crop and livestock production sustains two to three off-farm jobs,” the letter reads. “Securing a reliable and skilled workforce is essential, not only for the agricultural industry but for the U.S. economy as a whole.”
The bill is expected to be taken up for consideration by the House Judiciary Committee before going to a vote on the House floor.
“If we’re going to meet our nation’s economic and workforce challenges, immigrants need to be part of the solution at every level,” said Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum. “The Farm Workforce Modernization Act is an important bipartisan step towards meeting our nation’s agricultural workforce needs, but is only one piece broader immigration reform.
“We are deeply grateful for the leadership of the Democrats and Republicans who have worked together on this important piece of legislation to advance solutions for all Americans.”