FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 18, 2021
Contact: Hannah Packman, 303-819-8737
WASHINGTON – In an effort to improve the American agricultural labor system, the U.S. House of Representatives today voted in favor of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. The chamber passed an earlier version of the bipartisan bill in late 2019.
At the organization’s convention earlier this month, National Farmers Union (NFU) members approved a special order of business urging “immigration reform…that includes a sensible path to legal status for undocumented workers, and that reforms the H-2A temporary agricultural worker visa program so that it serves the needs of workers and family farmers and ranchers.” Because the bipartisan bill addresses both concerns, NFU welcomed its reintroduction, as President Rob Larew indicated in a statement:
“As it’s currently designed, our farm labor system doesn’t work well for anyone involved. Farmers depend on highly skilled workers to help them with any number of tasks, but often face mountains of paperwork and excessive red tape in the hiring process. Farm workers, on the other hand, lack adequate protections, access to government assistance programs, options for long-term employment, or a clear future in this country.
“The Farm Workforce Modernization Act is a mutually beneficial solution that will create a more functional and compassionate farm labor system. For agricultural employers, it will streamline and allow for greater flexibility in the H-2A temporary agricultural worker program, making it simpler to find and hire qualified employees. For workers, it will strengthen protections as well as establish a route to earn legal status through continued agricultural employment. Given its advantages for both parties, we welcome this practical piece of legislation and advise the Senate to quickly follow the House’s lead by taking up the important issue of farm labor reform.”
National Farmers Union advocates on behalf of nearly 200,000 American farm families and their communities. We envision a world in which farm families and their communities are respected, valued, and enjoy economic prosperity and social justice.