Latest News

Below are our latest news on important news and events relating to policy changes and issues affecting farmworkers and their families.

July 23, 2014

Re "Airport, ACLU tussle over ads" (Our Region, July 21): The decision of Sacramento International Airport to not run the informational ads of the California Endowment regarding denial of health care coverage for undocumented immigrants is unjust and deplorable. As a longtime resident of Sacramento and a frequent user of the airport, I applaud the endowment for its efforts to provide factual statements on behalf of those who make considerable economic contributions to our region and state, yet are denied access to health care coverage.

How can we in good faith claim our region to be the farm-to-fork capital when the very people who plant, harvest, pick and pack our food are so unfairly treated? This is a critical public health and food safety issue that ultimately affects us all.

The only controversy I see here is the ignorance of airport officials for not allowing the shameful truth to be on public display.

-- Mario Gutierrez, Sacramento

July 01, 2014

Mark Bittman’s column raises the important point that those who profess to care about “good” food must consider the structure and failings of our food system. This includes not only nutritional content and sustainability of production, but also the treatment of the people who plant and harvest the food for our tables.

There are about 2.5 million farmworkers across the country, at least half of them undocumented immigrants. These workers labor under difficult and dangerous conditions every day, vulnerable to weather, pesticide poisoning and employer abuse.

In New York State, for example, farmworker rights and protections lag significantly behind workers in every other sector. New York farmworkers do not have the right to bargain collectively, do not have access to overtime pay, and are not guaranteed a day of rest. Bills to address these basic rights have stalled for years in the New York State Senate.

The treatment of these workers is a great injustice in our food system and one that should be a concern of “foodies” everywhere. People who labor to produce our food should be treated with dignity and fairness.

BRUCE GOLDSTEIN
LIBRADA PAZ
Washington, June 26, 2014

The writers are, respectively, president of Farmworker Justice and the Robert F. Kennedy human rights laureate for 2012.

June 30, 2014

Today, President Obama announced that he will take executive action to reform our immigration system. The President’s remarks came after House Speaker Boehner told him that the House would not pursue a vote this year on much-needed immigration reform. This refusal to address our immigration crisis hurts our economy and the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States, including 1 million or more farmworkers.

“Farmworker Justice commends the President’s commitment to take administrative action to reform our broken immigration system. Hundreds of thousands of farmworkers who labor to put food on our tables suffer each day because they are unable to secure authorized immigration status,” said Bruce Goldstein, president of Farmworker Justice. “We urge President Obama to act boldly and to provide affirmative relief for undocumented farmworkers and other undocumented immigrants with strong ties to the U.S.”

“The refusal of the Speaker to bring comprehensive immigration reform to a vote hurts farmworkers, farm operators, our food system and our country. While it is now critical that the President take action, only comprehensive legislation will truly fix our immigration system. Speaker Boehner’s inaction is irresponsible and inhumane. Once again he has chosen to put politics over the needs of workers and our economy,” said Goldstein.