You can help take the immigration target off farm workers’ backs.
Farm workers are a critical part of our nation. They labor hard in some of the worst conditions to provide the subsistence we need to survive. Without farm workers who would put the food on our table? The vast majority of these hard working people are without documents. This is not a choice. The UFW and our membership have been fighting for years, traveling to and walking the halls of Washington DC, to look for a way to take them out of the shadows and set them on the path to eventually earning their citizenship. But it still hasn’t happened and we’re asking for your help once again so we could put every resource into making it happen.
As you’ve heard in the news, raids are happening. They are happening in farm worker areas. And farm workers are terrified. Almost every week we hear a new horror story of someone who was deported or brought in by ICE and expects to be deported. Farm workers are afraid to go to the market, to pick their child up from school or attend to their kid’s baseball game. Even going to work poses a risk as there are stories being shared of farm workers pulled over at busy intersections. Farm workers’ fear hit a whole new level last week, when Acting ICE Director Homan said anyone in the country without authorization is a target for enforcement, “You should be uncomfortable. You should look over your shoulder. You need to be worried.” He went on to say, “We shouldn’t wait for them to become a criminal.”
Sandra (alias), a strawberry worker and mother of five feels people are targeted for immigration raids by the color of their skin. She shares, "Everyone is afraid they'll be next. We are working hard, trying to earn a living, feed our families and feed this great nation. It’s not right." In this time of hate, it is more urgent than ever that we do outreach to farm workers and have our organizers in the position to educate workers about their rights and how to protect themselves.
At the same time, we again are walking the halls of Washington DC to lobby for farm workers. In May, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (CA-D) and Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez introduced the Agricultural Worker Program Act of 2017 (AWPA). The criteria are not easy. To get a “blue card” a worker has to have worked 100 days or more in agriculture the past two years and continue to work in ag and meet other conditions. That would put them on the path to a green card and eventually they would be able to earn their citizenship. A great majority of farm workers have been laboring for 10-20 years or more in this country, paying taxes and still haven’t had the chance to earn their citizenship.
The time for change is now. This bill will make a difference in the lives of thousands of farm worker families. We have an uphill battle with the current administration. The challenges we face are extraordinary and the need is urgent. Can you help the farm workers fight back?
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