This week a new bill, the “Agricultural Worker Program Act of 2017”, was introduced to the U.S. Senate by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and four co-sponsors.
This bill addresses the need for food security and a more stable agricultural labor force, which is predominantly undocumented farm workers. This act would benefit farm workers by providing them a path to earned legalization, while also protecting employers from penalties for hiring undocumented farm workers. The “Agricultural Worker Program Act of 2017” outlines a two-step process in which one may apply for a Blue Card, then after three to five years may be eligible to apply for a Green Card. Blue Card status would give farm workers employment authorization and temporary residency for themselves and their eligible family members during their application period. Additionally, Blue Card status allows farm workers and their families to exit and re-enter the United States. Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL) said, “This legislation moves us in the direction of recognizing [farm workers’] humanity, their aspirations, their families and their future in this country. This legislation says that we value your contributions and see them as legitimate and our laws ought to reflect that.”
© Scott Global Migration Law Group 2017