Co-sponsors Needed for Historic Farm Workers Bill

September 26, 2003

After three years of negotiations, a bipartisan bill on immigration and labor reform was introduced in Congress by Senators Craig (R-ID) and Kennedy (D-MA) and Representatives Cannon (R-UT) and Berman (D-CA) and is supported by a coalition of advocates for farm workers, labor unions and the agricultural industry—advocates who are often on opposite sides on agricultural policies. The National Farm Worker Ministry, United Farm Workers, and National Council of La Raza all support the legislation.

S. 1645, The Agricultural Job, Opportunity, Benefits, and Security Act of 2003, will improve working conditions and wages for farm workers—workers who often suffer from low pay and poor working conditions—while giving agricultural employers a legalized workforce.

S. 1645 would:

• Offer many undocumented farm workers the opportunity to become legal immigrants.

• Allow those in the H-2A guest worker program to enforce the terms of their employment contracts in federal courts.

• Allow immediate family members of farm workers, once the worker has received permanent resident status, to be granted immigration status as long as they meet other requirements under immigration law.

Additional support in the Senate is needed to ensure quick floor action and a vote to move it directly to the House for consideration. Please call your Senators at 800-513-3472 or email them immediately and request their co-sponsorship and support of this historic legislation on behalf of migrant and farm workers.

Episcopal Church Policy on this issue:

The Executive Council in 1992 and General Convention of 1997 established policies for advocacy on behalf of migrant and farm workers, especially in the area of economic justice. General Convention 1982 urged the federal government to adopt policies granting permanent resident status to overstayed/undocumented persons residing in the US who have come here because of political economic stress.

To view these policies click the links below:

1997 General Convention Resolution-A129

2000 General Convention Resolution-C034

1982 General Convention Resolution-A063

To contact your congressman about this issue CLICK HERE