UFW applauds three of President Obama’s immigration reform commitments:
‘Now is the time to move swiftly forward’
United Farm Workers President Arturo S. Rodriguez, who was invited to be with President Obama when he delivered his address on immigration reform at Del Sol High School today (Jan. 29, 2013) in Las Vegas, Nev., issued the following statement following the address. Thirty farm workers from across California who drove through the night to also be with the President accompanied Rodriguez.
We take heart from three commitments firmly articulated by President Obama in his address. Now is the time to move swiftly forward on a new immigration process in reality and not just preachment, a process that brings long-overdue recognition to hard-working, tax-paying immigrants whose hard labor and sacrifice feed all of America and much of the world.
1. We are cheered by the President’s insistence on a clear and unequivocal roadmap to citizenship.
2. We join President Obama in being encouraged by the bipartisan framework outlined by the senators on Monday. Yet we also applaud the President’s vow that if Congress does not act in short order, he will move forward with his own bill based on the principles he has outlined, and insist on a vote.
3. The bipartisan group of senators’ ambiguous and vague references to the existing H-2A agricultural guest worker program, and the suggestion that it should be replaced with a new visa program raises serious potential concerns for farm workers. The existing H-2A program contains a set of labor protections from abuse for farm workers from both sides of the border that were established during the Reagan administration and updated by the Obama administration.
What pleases us so much about President Obama’s remarks on this topic in Las Vegas is that he does not agree with the growers that a new visa program is needed and he does agree with the UFW that strong labor protections need to be continued.
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