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UFW, Rep. Gutierrez, 43 co-sponsors offer ‘more workable solution’ in advance of House GOP hearing over immigration

11:30 a.m. (Eastern), Tuesday, July 18, 2017 at House Triangle/U.S. Capitol grounds

Offering experienced farm workers presently toiling in the fields to feed America the chance to legally remain working in agriculture in the United States is a “more workable solution” than importing substantial numbers of additional guest workers from outside the country. That is the message members of the House immigration subcommittee will hear at a Wednesday hearing from the United Farm Workers, U.S. Reps. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL), Peter Welch (D-VT), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Judy Chu (D-CA) and Salud Carbajal (D-CA) and 38 other co-sponsors of HR 2690, a bill to solve the agricultural industry’s labor problems by letting domestic farm workers who are undocumented earn legalization.

In advance of the Wednesday hearing, UFW Political and Legislative Director Giev Kashkooli, Michigan farm worker Guadalupe Perales and Rep. Gutierrez will preview the case for the Agricultural Worker Program Act of 2017 and the message they will present at the subcommittee hearing during a meeting with reporters at 11:30 a.m. (Eastern) on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 at the House Triangle/U.S. Capitol grounds (SE/House side).

To qualify under HR 2690, immigrant farm workers would need to demonstrate consistent employment on U.S. farms over the past two years, pass thorough background checks and pay a fine. Those who continue working in agriculture over a three to five year period could apply for permanent legal status. “Allowing professional farm workers to earn legal status is the best and fastest way to match willing workers to willing employers,” says the UFW’s Kashkooli. “It is a more workable solution.”

With at least half of the nation’s farm workers undocumented, Kashkooli continues, increased deportations and other immigration enforcement have “exacerbated what is already a tough situation in American agriculture. Much of the agricultural economy would be in jeopardy if agricultural employers were required to participate in the E-Verify program because they could lose large numbers of the workers who have the skill and experience to produce America’s food.”

Who: UFW Political Director Giev Kashkooli, U.S. Reps Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL), Peter Welch (D-VT), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Judy Chu (D-CA) and Salud Carbajal (D-CA), and Greisa Martinez with United We Dream

What: Outlining a “more workable solution” than importing more guest workers to solve agriculture’s labor problems.

When: 11:30 a.m. (Eastern), Tuesday, July 18, 2017.

Where: House Triangle/U.S. Capitol Grounds (SE/House side).