March 18, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash) released the following statement after House passage of H.R. 1603, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, which would reform stabilize the agricultural sector and provide a path to citizenship to the workers who feed America.
“The pandemic and economic crisis have inflicted a devastating toll on immigrant communities, including farmworkers, who face instability and uncertainty due to our broken immigration system. The existing agricultural worker system fails to adequately support immigrant agriculture workers and strains our nation’s farmers and the food supply chain. The Farm Workforce Modernization Act finally reforms this broken system that has failed the undocumented and documented workers supporting our food supply chain for decades.
“The Farm Workforce Modernization Act creates a path to legal status for undocumented farmworkers who have spent years in these jobs and makes enormously important reforms to the existing H-2A agriculture visa program. The new system would give farmers more flexibility, establish desperately needed labor protections, and provide stability for workers and their families to live in the United States.
“This common-sense bipartisan bill, which has broad support from labor, immigration advocates, and agriculture employers, is a great step toward meaningful immigration reform. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues and the Biden-Harris Administration to build on this momentum to make our immigration system fairer and more humane to the benefit of our nation.”