January 18, 2019

Bill Would Grant Legal Status To Immigrants

 |  By: Mike Opperman

New legislation would provide legal status for immigrant workers and provide employers with a more stable workforce.

The bill, introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), would allow immigrant workers to receive a "blue card" if they have worked in the U.S. at least 100 days over the previous two years. Once a blue card is obtained, and if the status is maintained for the next three to five years, workers would be eligible to upgrade to permanent residence. 

“By protecting farmworkers from deportation, our bill would ensure that hardworking immigrants don’t live in fear and that California’s agriculture industry has the workforce it needs to succeed," Feinstein says. "We must protect the families who help put food on our tables."

The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) offered support for the bill. 

“The Agricultural Worker Program Act, introduced this week in both chambers of Congress, works to address agriculture’s needs by providing farmers with access to a legal workforce, a key element in the solution to the dairy industry’s workforce challenges," says Jim Mulhern, NMPF President and CEO. "As we have with previous legislative efforts, NMPF looks forward to working with Congress to enact a solution to our industry’s critical workforce challenges. This bill enables that conversation to start and we commend its introduction.”