SALINAS, Calif. (KION) The United Farm Workers of America shared a video Wednesday of a Salinas-area man who has traveled to Washington, DC to campaign for the Farm Workforce Modernization Act.
According to UFW, Francisco is a berry worker. In the video, Francisco explains why he is campaigning for the bill, saying, "Farmworkers need immigration reform so they can work in the fields without fear."
The organization said farmworkers have tried for years to get a path to legalization in recognition of the role they play in food security.
According to Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), she and a representative from Washington reintroduced the bill, also known as HR 1603, earlier this month. The bill is intended to reform the current agricultural guestworker program and create a merit-based visa program for agricultural workers.
“The men and women who work America’s farms feed the nation. But many of them do so while living and working in a state of uncertainty and fear, which has only been heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Lofgren said. “Stabilizing the workforce will protect the future of our farms and our food supply."
Find the full text of the bill below.