Rep. Ilhan Omar Statement on the Farm Workforce Modernization Act
WASHINGTON–Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) issued the following statement on H.R. 5038 – Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2019:
“The Farm Workforce Modernization Act is a major step forward for our immigration system and our workers. There are currently 2.4 million farmworkers in this country, half of whom are undocumented. And agriculture creates 147,000 jobs in Minnesota—more than almost any other state. Under the Trump Administration, these workers are subject to routine abuse and violations of their basic rights.
“This bill provides a pathway for qualified undocumented farmworkers and their families to legalize their status, a major victory. I am particularly proud that the bill includes protections for temporary workers with H-2A visas, over 1,000 of whom work in my home state of Minnesota.
“I am disappointed the final bill includes E-Verify, a federal tracking database that will cause companies to hire even more people under the table than they currently do, making them more vulnerable to abuse.
“No food is ‘cruelty free’ with our current system. But by recognizing the vast human rights abuses that are ingrained into our food and agricultural system, this bill is a significant accomplishment.”