House Bill Grants Legal Status For Undocumented Farmworkers

Photo: USDA

WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bipartisan measure to provide a pathway to citizenship for thousands of undocumented farm workers.

The Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2019 reforms a temporary agricultural program used by employers and requires companies to verify whether workers are in the U.S. legally through a federal system.

The bill could potentially bring big changes to an industry that relies on undocumented immigrants.

Congressmen Tom Reed says the bill will help struggling farmers locally.

“I hear it every time I step on family farms in Upstate New York — ‘when is Washington going to do something about access for farm labor?’” Reed said. “This common-sense bipartisan compromise is a step in the right direction for this decade old problem, and will deliver relief to the farmers we care about across the nation to give them fair access to workers they need to prosper. I am proud the Problem Solvers Caucus could get behind this bill as we pushed it over the finish line in the House and onto the Senate.

The vote was notable because unlike previous efforts, it gathered Republican support.

The measure now moves to the Senate.


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