Immigration laws have a huge impact on the lives of our members. Right now, three major immigration reforms are the focus of the Farmworkers Association of Florida. What is the latest on the disadvantageous Farm Labor Modernization Act, the bipartisan supported American Dream and Promise Act and the comprehensive US Citizenship Act? And how can you help our lobby?
The Farm Labor Modernization Act
This bill benefits big growers over farmworkers. The proposed path to residency status excludes many current farmworkers and their families. For those eligible the bill requires workers to continue working up to 8 more years in agriculture to qualify.
The bill also links immigration reform to the problematic H-2A program. H-2A workers’ immigration status is tied to one employer and workers are isolated in rural farming locations with little access to support, making it much more challenging to speak out about exploitation.
It further proposes to collect workers’ data, which could later be misused, through “E-verify”. Finally, the bill excludes farmworkers who have been injured on the job. For more information on our opposition to the Farm Labor Modernization Act, click here.
The bill was introduced in 2019 and passed the house. A bill doesn’t become law until it passes the house, senate and is signed by the president.
Join us in taking action to ensure this bill does not pass
- Call your legislators to oppose Section 533 in the appropriations bill H.R. 3931
- Call your legislators to oppose H.R. 5038 – the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. Visit https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials for contact information for your federal, state and local elected officials. You can also be directly connected to US representatives by calling 202-225-3121 and US senators by calling 202-224-3121.
- Donate to the Farmworkers Association of Florida to support our continuous efforts to improve immigration laws for farmworkers.
The American Dream and Promise Act
This bill benefits many of our members: farmworkers who currently have Temporary Protection Status (Homeland security grants TPS to people in the US who can’t safely return to their countries), such as Haitians, Salvadorians and Hondurans. Many of our members are Dreamers and DACA recipients, and they would be eligible for Conditional Permanent Residence or TPS.
President Biden strongly supports the American Dream and Promise Act: “The American Dream and Promise Act of 2021 is a critical first step in reforming our immigration system and will provide much needed relief to TPS holders and Dreamers, young people who came here as children and know no other country. I support this bill, and commend the House of Representatives for passing this important legislation.” Read the whole statement here.
The bill was introduced in 2021 and passed the House with the support of nine House Republicans.
The US Citizenship Act
This is a comprehensive bill covering all undocumented workers and their families in the United States, and is the piece we would most like to see enacted. This bill provides pathways to citizenship and strengthens labor protections. It also prioritizes smart border controls and addresses root causes of immigration, for example by increasing assistance to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. It will also replace the term ‘alien’ with ‘noncitizen’ in immigration statues. The White House created a factsheet on the US Citizenship Act for further reading.
This bill was introduced in 2021, which is the very first legislative step towards becoming law.
What can I do to help immigration reform bills become law?
-Call your legislator. Visit https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials for contact information for your federal, state and local elected officials. You can also be directly connected to US representatives by calling 202-225-3121 and US senators by calling 202-224-3121.
–Sign online petitions
-Donate to the Farmworkers Association of Florida to support our continuous efforts to improve immigration laws for farmworkers.
On the History page you can find a list of four decades of legislative successes for the farmworkers of Florida.