On Thursday, May 14, 2009, Senator Diane Feinstein introduced a bill, nicknamed the “AgJobs Bill,” that seeks to grant amnesty for up to 1.35 million farm workers working in the country illegally, primarily in California. Feinstein and other legislators proposed the AgJobs Bill numerous times over the last decade but were met with fierce opposition. However, supporters of the bill – including the United Farm Workers of America and other worker advocates – are now hoping the legislation will become a legal reality under the Obama administration. Generally, the AgJobs Bill would allow foreign farm workers who have been working illegally in the United States for at least two years to earn a path toward becoming legal permanent residents. Workers’ family members would also be eligible for legal permanent residency, which could bring the number of legalized farm workers to approximately two million people. The bill would also focus on overhauling a program that aims to recruit foreign workers for seasonal jobs on American farms, where profitable construction jobs have tended to lure workers away.
For more information on Senator Feinstein and the AgJobs Bill, please visit: http://feinstein.senate.gov/public. For additional information on this news story, please visit: http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_12370678.