Congressman Gonzalez Votes to Approve Farm Workforce Modernization Act
WASHINGTON – On Thursday, March 18, Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) voted to pass H.R. 1603, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act which will provide stability, predictability and fairness to the workers who feed and clothe America. This bipartisan bill provides reforms that will overhaul the farmworker visa program, improve agricultural labor standards, and help American farmers compete in global markets.
“We need a guestworker program that works,” said Congressman Gonzalez. “This pandemic has highlighted America’s desperate need for farmworkers and how essential they are to our communities. While not perfect, this legislation will give farmers, ranchers and farmworkers in the 15th District of Texas some much-needed certainty. I am proud to cast my vote for this bill and will continue working with all interested parties to ensure that access to a reliable, legal and skilled workforce is no longer out of reach."
The Farm Workforce Modernization Act – stabilizes the agricultural sector and preserves our rural heritage by ensuring that farmers can meet their labor needs by establishing a program for agricultural workers, their spouses and minor children can earn legal Certified Agricultural Worker (CAW) status through continued agricultural employment. H.R. 1603 also reforms the H-2A temporary agricultural worker program to provide more flexibility for employers, while ensuring critical protections for workers. And to ensure a legal workforce for the agriculture sector, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act establishes a mandatory, nationwide E-Verify system to ensure compliance with the reformed H-2A visa program while also protecting workers’ due process rights.