United Farm Workers strongly criticized House leaders Wednesday for votes to rescind executive orders regarding deportation deferrals. The Agriculture Workforce Coalition was less hostile in its response, but the group also called on Congress to adopt some measures that will address labor challenges in the country with undocumented workers.
The House voted 236-191 to block funding for the Department of Health and Human Services to carry out the president's immigration plans.
UFW President Arturo Rodriguez characterized the House bill as "an attack on farm worker families, youth and all immigrant families who President Obama has taken steps to protect," Rodriguez said. "The UFW fervently opposed passage of this extreme anti-immigrant bill."
The Agriculture Workforce Coalition issued a statement calling on Congress to address the labor crisis in agriculture.
"America’s immigration system remains broken, unable to provide farmers and ranchers with the stable, secure and skilled workforce they need to grow and harvest the food we eat. As the House’s action today brings renewed focus to the broad issue of immigration, the Agriculture Workforce Coalition, speaking as the unified voice of producers across the country, again calls on Congress to act to address the sector’s labor crisis. We look forward to working with Congress in the weeks and months ahead to see legislation passed to resolve this pressing issue.
“In doing so, the AWC believes that any proposal to address the situation must include both the current agricultural workforce—many members of which are unauthorized to work in the U.S.—and the future labor needs of agricultural employers. It must also provide a solution that works for all of agriculture, including producers with seasonal need for workers and those with year-round needs.”
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