The Farm Workforce Modernization Act
A bipartisan group of lawmakers has introduced a bill that would make it easier for American farmers to hire foreign workers and let some farm workers who are here illegally become legal residents.
The Farm Workforce Modernization Act has 44 House co-sponsors - which include 24 Democrats and 20 Republicans, and its supporters have said it is a bipartisan compromise.
Manuel Cunha Jr. is with the Nisei Farmers League in California and recently discussed the issue with the Fresno Bee.
"The bill that has just been passed by the House in the Judiciary Committee is the Farm Worker Modernization Act, which deals with agriculture. Only agriculture. But it deals with 1.6 million workers in the United States that need some type of legalization. And so I feel confident that it's going to get to the Senate. I really do. And the Senate already, Feinstein and Kamala Harris and others are working with Republicans right now. I think if there's a concurrence on both sides, the president will sign it. I really do."
The bill would let people who can demonstrate at least 180 days of agricultural employment and can pass a background check get five-year renewable work visas.
The bill also would make changes to the existing H-2A visa program, streamlining the process.