The Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2021
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2021 last week. The bill provides legal status for the current workforce, reforms the H-2A program and ensures that we will have future access to a skilled, dedicated workforce.
Bentz… “The Farm Workforce Modernization Act takes a big step in that direction, by the way, trying to make the process work while at the same time remaining sensitive. I think very carefully sensitive to the challenge of not attracting more people here.”
That’s Representative Cliff Bentz from Oregon, one of 274 representatives who voted in favor of the bill. Opponents included several conservatives who thought aspects of the bill were too liberal on immigration.
Bentz… “The part of the bill that people talk about being too liberal is the part that requires that you've lived here for 10 years, or at least eight. But it's focused on those who have been here for 10 years. And then you have to work an ag another four before you can apply for the possibility of a green card. And so 14 years, that kind of framework is important because it sends the signal that if you come here illegally, good luck. And by the way, because the bill has in it, that E-Verify where they check electronically to see if you have a real social security number, that's going to make it very difficult for people who are here illegally to get a job.”
Now that it has been passed in the House, the bill will move on to the Senate for consideration.