Immigration and Labor Resources
Resources Written by Farmworker Justice
► Weeding Out Abuses: Recommendations for a law- abiding farm labor system by Farmworker Justice and Oxfam America
► Bruce Goldstein Written Testimony April 2011 before the Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement Hearing on: “The H-2A Visa Program: Meeting the Growing Needs of American Agriculture?"
► Bruce Goldstein Written Testimony Sept 2011 before Workforce Protections Subcommittee of the House Education and Workforce Committee: Workforce Challenges Facing the Agriculture Industry
► Union Contracts with H-2A Employers:
The Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) has a contract with the North Carolina Growers Association, providing significant improvements in wages and working conditions for some 6,000 workers.
► Fact Sheet on the The Bush Administration’s Shameful Legacy for Farmworkers: Midnight Bush Administration H-2A Program Regulations.
► Picked Apart: The Hidden Struggles of Migrant Worker Women in the Maryland Crab Industry - American University's Washington College of Law and the Centro de los derechos del Migrante (Center for Migrant Rights) report on the lives of H-2B guestworkers in the Maryland crab industry. It is an excellent resource with lots of detailed information about housing conditions, common workplace injuries and sexual harassment. It also contains information on illegal recruitment fees the workers pay for the visa in their home countries.
► Piñeros: Men of the Pines- The abuse and exploitation of H-2B forestry workers has been extensively documented by Tom Knudson and Hector Amezcua of the Sacramento Bee in a series of award winning articles documenting the life of H-2B forestry workers in the US.
► Beneath the Pines - Written by The Southern Poverty Law Center's Immigrant Justice Project tells the stories of migrant pine tree workers.
► The Northwest Workers' Justice Project and the Brennan Center for Justice filed a complaint under the labor side agreement to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) seeking access to justice for H-2B guestworkers. Read the history of that complaint here.
Farmworker Justice has supported the historic AgJOBS farmworker immigration compromise for many years. While AgJOBS has not been introduced as stand-alone legislation in the 112th Congress, it is included within Senator Menendez’s Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2011, S. 1258. AgJOBS is in Part V, sections 150-159.
► Farmworker Justice Summary of AgJOBS
Additionally, Representative Berman introduced the Agricultural Labor Market Reform Act, H. R. 3017. H.R. 3017 would stabilize the farm labor force while removing incentives for agricultural employers to hire guestworkers over US workers. Farmworker Justice supports the Agricultural Labor Market Reform Act.
Harmful Agricultural Guestworker Proposals
House Reps. Lungren (R-Cal.), Smith (R-Tex.), and Kingston (R-Ga.) and Senator Chambliss (R-Ga.) have each proposed agricultural guestworker legislation as the “solution” for agriculture’s labor force. These proposals would reduce or eliminate critical worker protections and government oversight from the current H-2A agricultural guestworker program or create an entirely new guestworker program with minimal protections or oversight. There are also several proposals to expand the H-2A agricultural guestworker program to year-round jobs in dairy without addressing the current experienced dairy workers or improving farmworker wages and working conditions.
Farmworker Justice strongly opposes these guestworker proposals and continues to seek meaningful reform that protects US workers and provides undocumented farmworkers an opportunity to earn legal immigration status. Farmworker Justice is working to educate Congress and the public about the fundamentally flawed nature of the H-2A agricultural guestworker program. For more information about the inherently abusive H-2A program, please read our report, No Way to Treat a Guest.
Farmworker Justice Fact Sheets and Texts of Bills
► Rep. Lungren (R-Cal.),Agricultural Workforce Act, H.R. 2895
► Rep. Smith (R-Tex.), American Specialty Agriculture Act , H.R. 2847.
► Rep. Kingston (R-Ga.), BARN Act, H.R. 3443.
- Farmworker Justice Fact Sheet
- Legislative Language
► Senator Chambliss (R-Ga.), HARVEST Act, S. 1384.
The H-2A Guestworker Program: Not a Proper Solution for Dairy
Senator Leahy and Senators Schumer and Lee have introduced guestworker bills, the H-2A Improvement Act, S. 852, and the DASH Act, S. 1697, respectively, that would expand the H-2A temporary foreign agricultural worker program to include jobs at year-round dairy operations. Congress should not expand the H-2A program, which provides temporary work visas for seasonal jobs, to full-year jobs at dairies.
► Farmworker Justice Fact Sheet on H-2A and Dairy Proposals
Farmworker Justice President Bruce Goldstein’s Congressional Testimony on the H-2A program, harmful guestworker proposals, and the need for sensible immigration reform:
► Written Testimony April 2011 before the Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement Hearing on: “The H-2A Visa Program: Meeting the Growing Needs of American Agriculture?"
► Written Testimony Sept 2011 before Workforce Protections Subcommittee of the House Education and Workforce Committee: Workforce Challenges Facing the Agriculture Industry