In a move that is definitely not “America First”, the U.S. House of Representatives is set to pass legislation giving amnesty to migrant workers.
The Farm Workforce Modernization Act “establishes a program for agricultural workers in the United States to get right with the law and earn legal status”, United Fresh wrote in a summary of the bill.
For years, the produce industry and our agriculture sector partners have made an overwhelming case for legislation to reform our broken immigration system and help build a legal and reliable workforce, United Fresh says. With the introduction of the bipartisan Farm Workforce Modernization Act in the House of Representatives, we now have the opportunity to achieve that reform.
This legislation marks an important first step in that process and it includes the basic principles of immigration reform that we have long advocated for. The bill provides legal status for the current workforce, reforms the current federal agriculture guestworker program known as H-2A and ensures that we will have future access to a skilled, dedicated workforce. The bill also includes provisions to ensure the proper enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws, but is contingent upon including the reforms to the current and future workforce for which we have long advocated.
As opposed to offering better wages to American workers, these farmers, and politicians, are hoping a bill passes that allows these farmers to hire from outside of the U.S., and pay them lower wages.
Now, folks who support mass immigration might say “do you want to pay more for your groceries?” To that I say, “if it means we maintain a Christian conservative country, heck yes I’ll pay more for my avocados.”
The reason the bill is going to pass with support from both parties is because politicians are in favor of cheap labor, especially from a group that donates to their campaigns.
GrowingProduce.com shares why several growers are enthusiastic about the expected passage of this bill:
Jim Bair, President and CEO, U.S. Apple Association: “The legislation represents a significant improvement over the status quo for our growers in the H-2A program and those who employ domestic workers. The legislation is a compromise and the first step in a lengthy process. We will continue to provide input and seek improvements as that process moves forward. Each year, growers coast to coast face uncertainty as to whether there will be sufficient labor to harvest the crop. The current system causes an unstable situation for not only apple growers, but for all farmers who depend on immigrant labor to bring Americans healthy and affordable food. A stable, legal, and reliable workforce is critical if we are to continue to have a vibrant domestic apple supply. For these reasons, we urge Congress to pass this legislation.”
You know how you get more labor? You have more babies. Right now, American families have on average 1.8 children. That’s lower than the replacement rate. Our country can only grow (and fill agriculture jobs) if people start having babies. Otherwise, people feel justified importing cheap labor under the guise of “well, we had to! There weren’t enough people to hire!”
Craig Regelbrugge, Senior VP, AmericanHort: “This bipartisan compromise advances an important debate and provides a platform for serious consideration of urgently needed reforms addressing the agricultural sector and farm employees. What happens on the farm doesn’t stay on the farm; the work contributions of each farm worker create and sustain two to three job opportunities in the surrounding economy. Rural areas across the country benefit from the jobs and economic opportunity that farm workers create, so long as we are growing and producing labor-intensive crops and commodities here in America. We urge both the House and Senate to move swiftly to advance and improve upon this important legislative foundation.”
Rural areas benefit less when the money earned by workers is shipped back home, and not spent in said local community. Sure, a lot of it gets spent in the immediate area, but not as much as a 100% full blooded American’s money, who has no “home” to send cash to every month.
Tom Nassif, President & CEO, Western Growers: “The introduction of this bill, which is the product of many months of dedicated work and careful negotiation between legislators, staff, and key stakeholders, constitutes an agreement that few thought was possible. However, this is just the beginning. What lies ahead is a very important process that will require the support of both political parties and the President. The Farm Workforce Modernization Act has the resounding support of the agriculture community and contains principles that have historically received backing on both sides of the aisle. We, along with our Congressional champions and partners in the Agriculture Workforce Coalition, commit ourselves to moving the Farm Workforce Modernization Act forward this legislative session.”
Of course the agriculture community is fully supportive of a bill that allows them to legally hire cheaper labor. The thing is, why are your representatives in favor of helping non-Americans? When folks on the left are bitching about the poor, they are also supporting bills that take potential opportunities away from the same poor they claim to care about.
So, what do these people have to do to gain legal status? Simply, work on a farm for a while.
Here’s the full summary of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act:
I’m not sure which part of this bill I like the least… Maybe it’s the part that focuses on improving housing for NON-AMERICANS. Or, maybe it’s the “this bill dedicates an additional 40,000 green cards per year for agricultural workers,” part. Either way, this bill might keep produce cheaper, but it’s devastating for the Republican party.
It’s no secret that immigrants, legal and illegal, both overwhelmingly support democrat politicians. Encouraging more people who don’t have American values to come to our country will only push us closer to socialism, and policies similar to that of the rest of the world. Ask yourself, is the American way of life worth losing just to save a few extra bucks at the grocery store?
This bill contains provisions related to alien farmworkers, including provisions establishing a certified agricultural worker (CAW) status and changing the H-2A temporary worker program.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may grant CAW status to an applying alien who (1) performed at least 1,035 hours of agricultural labor during the two-year period prior to October 30, 2019, (2) was inadmissible or deportable on that date, and (3) has been continuously present in the United States from that date until receiving CAW status. The bill imposes additional crime-related inadmissibility grounds on CAW applicants and makes some other grounds inapplicable.
CAW status shall be valid for 5.5 years and may be extended. DHS may grant dependent status to the spouse or children of a principal alien.
An alien with a pending application may not be detained or removed by DHS and shall be authorized for employment until DHS makes a final decision on the application.
A CAW alien (and dependents) may apply for lawful permanent resident status after meeting various requirements, including performing a certain amount of agricultural labor for a number of years.
DHS shall create an electronic platform for (1) filing H-2A petitions, (2) facilitating the processing of H-2A cases, and (3) providing agencies a single tool for obtaining H-2A-related case information.
The bill makes various changes to the H-2A program, such as (1) modifying the method for calculating and making adjustments to the H-2A worker minimum wage, (2) specifying how an employer may satisfy requirements that it attempted to recruit U.S. workers, (3) requiring H-2A employers to guarantee certain minimum work hours, and (4) making the program available for year-round agricultural work and reserving a visa allocation for the dairy industry.
DHS shall establish a pilot program allowing certain H-2A workers to apply for portable status, which gives the worker 60 days after leaving a position to secure new employment with a registered H-2A employer.
DHS shall establish an electronic system patterned on the E-Verify Program for employers to verify an individual’s identity and employment authorization. Employers hiring individuals for agricultural employment must use the system.
This bill permanently establishes the Housing Preservation and Revitalization Program, which provides financing assistance for rural rental housing and off-farm labor housing and rental assistance for qualified tenants of such housing. It also authorizes the Department of Agriculture to provide various assistance, including funding for insuring loans and grants for new farmworker housing.
Call your representative today, and tell them “NO” on HR 5038