Yesterday, the Agricultural Worker Program Act of 2017 was introduced in the U.S. Senate. The bill, which incorporates elements of the “blue card” provisions contained in the failed 2013 Senate immigration bill, would allow undocumented farmworkers who have worked in agriculture for at least 100 days in the previous two years to earn blue card status.
A blue card would also make them eligible for green card status after three to five years, the time frame depending on the amount of hours they worked.
Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif issued a statement in response to the bill being introduced saying, “With the introduction of immigration legislation, the Senate elevates an issue often overlooked in the immigration reform debate: Retention of the existing agricultural workforce. To reform our broken immigration system, Congress must pass bipartisan solutions that acknowledge the contributions and value of current farmworkers while also creating a workable program to enable the future flow of labor to American farms. One without the other will not work.
“We are hopeful that those members of the legislature that are working on agricultural immigration legislation accelerate the process because time is definitely of the essence and our labor situation has reached a critical stage.”
For more information, please contact Cory Lunde at (949) 885-2264.
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