United Farm Worker leadership laid the blame for a lack of action in Washington on immigration at the feet of the Republican Party and the American Farm Bureau Federation.
The Senate decided not to include worker immigration legislation in the fiscal year 2023 omnibus appropriations bill. The omnibus passed the House last week and is on the way to President Biden’s desk for his signature.
“It’s a bitter disappointment for farm workers across the country who have earned the right to legal status through the sweat of their brow,” says UFW President Teresa Romero. She also called it unsurprising, saying that leaders of both groups want to keep farm workers living in fear and uncertainty. “They know that an undocumented workforce is easier to intimidate and exploit,” she says.
Farm Bureau says the legislation will lead to wild swings in wage rates beyond the reach of many farmers and ranchers.