Washington – Today Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) announced the House passage of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, bipartisan legislation he cosponsored to give a path to legal status for agricultural workers. This bill is strongly supported by local growers, farmers and farmworker groups alike. Thompson released the following statement after the vote.
“The workforce at the heart of our nation’s agriculture deserves a pathway to legal immigration status that’s fair and that helps employers verify information quickly and efficiently. That’s why I was proud to cosponsor and vote to pass the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, bipartisan legislation to do just that. This critical bill helps to correct legal issues that authorized workers keep facing as they try to get legal status, streamlining and simplifying the process for employers and employees alike. It’s a smart, bipartisan solution and I will fight for quick consideration in the Senate so we can get this done for our local agriculture community.”
The Farm Workforce Modernization Act establishes a program for agricultural workers to earn legal status through continued employment in their field. It also reforms the H-2A program to ensure it is more responsive and user-friendly for both employers and employees. This bill also establishes a mandatory, nation-wide E-Verify system for all agricultural employment. The legislation is supported by the Napa County Farm Bureau, Sonoma County Farm Bureau, Wine Institute, Napa Valley Vintners, WineAmerica, and the United Farm Workers Union.