It is called the Farm Workforce Modernization Act and it would give amnesty to over 1.5 million illegal alien farmworkers, expand an already massive guest worker program, and add thousands of green cards – all for next to nothing in return.
The Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 5038) is an effort to amnesty over 1.5 million illegal alien farmworkers, expand the H-2A program, add 40,000 green cards to the EB-3 category, and mandate E-Verify across the agriculture sector. Despite the catchy title, the bill does nothing to actually modernize America’s agricultural workforce.
Creates a Pathway to Citizenship for Over 1.5 Million Illegal Alien Farmworkers. Anywhere from 1.5 to 2.1 million illegal aliens working in agriculture will become eligible for a new immigration status called Certified Agricultural Worker (CAW). The bill shields CAW and even CAW-eligible aliens from deportation.
Second-Class Status for CAW Workers. CAW aliens can eventually apply for green cards through an archaic system that resembles indentured servitude. Aliens who worked in agriculture for at least 10 year before the bill’s enactment must work under CAW status for at least 4 additional years before applying for a green card. Alternatively, aliens who worked for less than 10 years before enactment must work at least 8 more years under CAW status. It is unclear how aliens would prove their length of employment and presents the opportunity for widespread fraud.
Encourages Further Illegal immigration. Like all amnesties, this bill would encourage further illegal immigration into the United States. Further, it does not address agricultural labor needs in the future. A better bill would focus on expanding agriculture’s access to labor-saving technology. An amnesty today does not solve the labor needs of tomorrow, and we will face this same predicament down the road.