California’s Senators Proposed Path to Citizenship for Farmworkers
California’s Senators filed legislation last month, the Agricultural Worker Program Act, which would create a path of citizenship for farmworkers working in the United States illegally and essentially shield them from deportation. Senator Dianne Feinstein stated,
Everywhere I travel in California, I hear from farmers, growers and producers from all industries — wine, citrus, fruit and tree nuts, dairy — that there aren’t enough workers. Farm labor is performed almost exclusively by undocumented immigrants — a fact that should surprise no one.
The Agricultural Worker Program Act would give a “blue card” to undocumented workers that have worked in agriculture for at least 100 days in each of the previous two years. The undocumented workers would eventually be eligible for a green card or legal permanent residency status, which would lead to earning citizenship. According to the federal government, 9 out of 10 agriculture workers in California are foreign-born and over half are undocumented. California farmers have been having a hard time hiring native-born workers because they just do not want to work in the fields, even with the rise in wages for farmworkers. We will have to wait and see if the act is passed to help farmers with their worker shortage and undocumented farmworkers with citizenship.
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