CA Farm Workforce Modernization Act.
In a statement CFBF President Jamie Johansson said, “We need to deal fairly with the existing agricultural workforce and their immediate families. The people who work on farms and ranches are valued members of rural communities. Their contributions to our communities and our food system should be recognized by allowing them a chance to gain legal status.”
California Congressman Salud Carbajal worked on the bill which he hopes will get a full House vote soon.
Carbajal: “ I know the positive impact that this is going to have around the country and in my district. This is not only providing certainty to our farmers, it’s providing certainty to our workforce that day in and day out lives in the shadows, whose families live in fear. This is a win win win win for everyone. I’m extremely proud to be part of this bipartisan effort and am very grateful to all the stakeholders who stepped up not for a perfect bill but, a good bill and a first major freakin big deal step forward.”
A pilot program in the bill would allow H-2A employees to move from farm to farm for employment, a portability option California producers have long sought. And, for the first time, the bill would accommodate guestworker visas for year-round operations such as dairies and nurseries.
The legislation also contains reforms that should bring down the costs of using the H-2A program.
(Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose, and Dan Newhouse, R-Wash)