Harder Supports Passage of Historic Farm Labor Immigration Bill

December 11, 2019
Press Release
First Bipartisan Agriculture Immigration Bill to Pass House in Decades

WASHINGTON – Representative Josh Harder (CA-10) today voted to pass the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, bipartisan legislation he cosponsored which would revamp existing immigration rules. Existing agriculture immigration programs have prevented farmers from securing the labor force they need and prevented farmworkers from earning a path to legal status. This immigration reform bill is targeted specifically at the agriculture industry and is the product of months-long negotiations between members of both parties, including Rep. Harder, immigration and labor advocates, and agriculture organizations.

“Labor supply is one of the top issues I hear about from the farmers I work for – and this bipartisan bill is the answer. It gives our farmers the certainty they need to get the job done while providing folks who earn an honest living out in the fields a path to earn legal status,” said Rep. Harder. “We haven’t seen a bipartisan immigration bill of this size pass the House in decades – now it’s up to Mitch McConnell to do the right thing for once and work with us to fix this problem.”

“The Farm Workforce Modernization Act represents a measured approach to solve a chronic problem affecting rural communities across the country: There aren’t enough people to fill many of the jobs farmers and ranchers have to offer,” said California Farm Bureau Federation President Jamie Johansson. “It acknowledges the contributions made to our economy and rural communities by immigrant farm employees who care for crops and livestock while modernizing and streamlining the existing H-2A agricultural visa program.”

Representative Harder has heard from dozens of farmers about the devastating effects of labor shortages and from farmworkers about the need for a more humane immigration system.

Additional information on the legislation is available here.