Industry Associations Release Statements on the Reintroduction of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act
UNITED STATES - Industry associations are celebrating the U.S. House of Representatives' passage of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act as a recent victory for the produce industry.
Among those who showed support for the pass of this legislation was Western Growers Association’s President and CEO Dave Puglia.
“Today’s vote reconfirms the reality that well-crafted and durable legislation requires the input of thoughtful and pragmatic lawmakers from both parties,” Puglia said. “We thank the House members who led this effort and all who voted in favor of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. Next, we urge Senators of both parties to begin their consideration of this legislation in a similar construct, guided by a desire to produce legislation negotiated with both agriculture and labor advocates and supported by Senators of both parties.”
The act has been introduced as a way to create workforce solutions for the agriculture industry, providing new pathways for undocumented farmworkers to obtain legal citizenship in the U.S, thus allowing them to continue their vital role within the agriculture industry.
Puglia continued, stating that “The need for a solution to agriculture’s labor crisis has been widely accepted across party lines. Furthermore, the remedy, which addresses both the existing workforce and the future flow of workers, has been negotiated in painstaking detail and agreed to by advocates representing farmers and farm workers alike. The Senate never took up this legislation after it passed the House in 2019, and the problem has predictably worsened. Americans want to see Congress work on real problems and real solutions and spend less time in ideological conflict. The Farm Workforce Modernization Act affords the Senate a powerful opportunity to meet that expectation.”
President of the United Fresh Produce Association Tom Stenzel also announced his approval for the reintroduction of the act.
“Today, the House of Representatives took an important step towards reforming our agricultural labor system by passing the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 1603) by a vote of 247 to 174,” said Stenzel. “The legislation will stabilize our current workforce and make improvements to ensure that a future workforce is available to meet the growing needs of the fresh produce industry.”
“The strong support for this measure would not have been possible without the leadership of Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Congressman Dan Newhouse (R-WA),” Stenzel added. “Their efforts, aided by colleagues on both sides of the aisle, made today’s passage of the bill possible. Now our efforts turn to the Senate where we will work to further improve the bill and garner similar bipartisan support for this legislation.”
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