Following a subcommittee hearing of the House Judiciary Committee focused on the implications of H.R. 1773, the “Agricultural Guestworker Act,” sponsored by Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Farmworker Justice President Bruce Goldstein made the following statement:
“This bill will only serve to magnify the dysfunction in our current system and deserves no serious consideration. It is merely a distraction from the agricultural immigration compromise included in the Senate immigration bill, which has broad support and resulted from months of difficult negotiations between major agribusiness groups, the United Farm Workers, and a bipartisan group of Senators.
Rep. Goodlatte’s bill deprives current farmworkers who lack authorized immigration status the opportunity to earn a green card or citizenship while proposing a new agricultural guestworker program that would lead to lower wages and more exploitative conditions for farmworkers. That’s a step backwards for agricultural labor. The men and women working to put food on our tables deserve better.”