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Nadler, Lofgren Applaud Passage of H.R. 5038, the "Farm Workforce Modernization Act"

Washington, December 12, 2019

Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship Chair Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) applauded House passage of H.R. 5038, theFarm Workforce Modernization Act. This legislation offers stability for American farms by providing a temporary status to current farmworkers with an optional path to a green card. The bill also addresses the nation’s future labor needs by modernizing the H-2A temporary visa program, while ensuring fair wages and fair workplace conditions for all farm workers.

“With yesterday’s passage of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, the House has taken an important step towards addressing the growing labor challenges on America’s farms,” said House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). “This legislation provides long-overdue security to current farmworkers and their employers, ensuring a future stable workforce under fair and safe conditions. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to find the courage to pass the Farm Workforce Modernization Act and provide a seat at America’s table for those who have long grown the food we serve on it.”

“The men and women who work America’s farms feed the nation. But, farmworkers across the country are living and working with uncertainty and fear, contributing to the destabilization of farms across the nation,” said Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship Chair Zoe Lofgren (D-CA). “Our bill offers stability for American farms by providing a path to legal status for farmworkers. In addition, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act addresses the nation’s future labor needs by modernizing an outdated system for temporary workers, while ensuring fair wages and workplace conditions. I urge the Senate to follow the House’s lead and swiftly pass the first-of-its-kind bipartisan immigration compromise in decades that improves America’s agricultural labor programs and laws.”

Background:

The Farm Workforce Modernization Actwill:

  • Establish a program for agricultural workers in the United States to earn legal status through continued agricultural employment and contribution to the U.S. agricultural economy.
  • Reform the H-2A program to provide more flexibility for employers, while ensuring critical protections for workers. The bill focuses on modifications to make the program more responsive and user-friendly for employers and provides access to the program for industries with year-round labor needs.
  • Establish mandatory, nationwide E-Verify system for all agricultural employment with a structured phase-in and guaranteed due process for authorized workers who are incorrectly rejected by the system.

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