Target: Sen. Feinstein and Rep. Berman
Goal: End abuses of undocumented farm workers in the U.S.
Each year 1 million undocumented farm workers, who are responsible for picking food for U.S. citizens, silently endure cruel and unfair treatment out of fear of deportation. The bill AgJOBS would eliminate these workers’ fears by providing undocumented workers with temporary immigration status, and in doing so give workers the ability to take a stand against unfair treatment. AgJOBS was introduced by Sen. Feinstein and Rep. Berman in the years 2007 and 2009, but in the past two years members of Congress have remained silent on the issue. Next year a new Congress will begin, and this provides the perfect opportunity to push once more for the basic human rights that are denied to many undocumented workers.
Despite the fact that farm workers perform a vital service that few others are willing to do, the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) reports that one in four farm workers are paid less than minimum wage. On a daily basis farm workers are placed in dangerous situations. They are exposed to toxic chemicals and extreme temperatures. If they are provided housing, their houses can also become sources of risk in the form of proximity to fields where chemicals are sprayed and poor ventilation. Of the 2-3 million farm workers in the U.S. over half are undocumented, and these undocumented workers are currently unable to object to low wages and poor working conditions out of fear.
While 2011 and 2012 were important years for immigration legislation such as the DREAM Act, there has been no action in regards to AgJOBS, leaving 1 million farm workers to continue to suffer under unfair conditions.
Sen. Feinstein and Rep. Berman have proven their dedication to the rights of undocumented farm workers in the past. By signing this petition you will help urge our members of Congress to consider the status of farm workers and reintroduce AgJOBS in the next Congress.
The Honorable Dianne Feinstein and Howard Berman,
I would first like to applaud and thank you for your efforts in the past to improve the horrible working conditions of the over 1 million undocumented workers who are responsible for picking our food. Unfortunately, these workers currently continue to suffer from low wages, unfair treatment, and exposure to health hazards on a daily basis under the threat of deportation.
In 2007 and 2009 you sponsored the AgJOBS bill. I believe AgJOBS has the ability to improve the living and working conditions of our nation’s farm workers and prevent future workers from suffering in similar situations.
I urge you to continue to show your support for the people who need it by reintroducing AgJOBS in the 113th Congress. Through your efforts I believe we can work towards a better future for undocumented farm workers by giving them the chance to obtain basic human rights.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Gary Coronado via WILPF