Farm employees honored on the July 4th White Home celebrations are pushing for citizenship

Also urged Congress to act UFW Foundation Member Karen and her sisters Jacqueline and Mayra. “The family immigrated between Florida, Georgia, Kentucky and Pennsylvania for many years before settling in Moultrie, Georgia,” said UFW. “They worked in various crops in addition to the packing sheds. They picked and packed tomatoes, jalapeños, peppers, poblano peppers, eggplants, strawberries, onions, cucumbers and tobacco. During the pandemic, Karen’s parents continued to harvest peppers, eggplants, melons and cucumbers. “

Karen said farm workers everywhere “worked even during the pandemic and provided people with fresh produce on their tables”. While the federal government viewed them as key workers at the start of the pandemic, farm workers remained vulnerable to deportations. Because of their legal status, they have also been wrongly excluded from pandemic relief despite being taxpayers. “Lack of legal status puts them at risk and robs them of their peace,” Karen continued. “Legalization would allow them to work freely without worrying about being separated from their family and home.”

The president advocated a path to citizenship for farm workers and other immigrants during a naturalization ceremony at the White House last week. “It is important for me to campaign for farm labor legalization because I have seen firsthand the hard work that farm workers like my parents and their colleagues do every day to provide for their families in the hope of a better future. “Said Mayra. “Being a farm laborer is a tough job that is often overlooked, but your hard work provides many families across the country with the vegetables and fruits they use and eat on a daily basis.”

The UFW Twitter account does an amazing job on a regular basis, showing the daily challenges farm workers face, including scorching heat in recent weeks, as Daily Kos’ Laura Clawson recently reported. Just a few days ago Sebastian Francisco Perez, a 38-year-old Oregon farm worker, died in the midst of the heatwave. “Perez was laying irrigation lines at Ernst Farms and Nursery in St. Paul when workers realized he was missing,” reported Oregon Public Broadcasting. “They found him passed out and couldn’t resuscitate him.”


Fortino will be back working in a vineyard in east Washington next week. He will also be back at work fighting for a way to citizenship for undocumented farm workers. We need #FarmWorkerLegalization to keep feeding America.

– United Farm Workers (@UFWupdates) July 5, 2021


He will be bringing home a gift from the White House, one of the American flags that were hoisted during President Biden’s inauguration.

He also brings home a new determination to find a way forward for his church. #FarmWorkerLegalization

– United Farm Workers (@UFWupdates) July 5, 2021

“Legalizing farm workers means ending the fear farm worker communities face on a daily basis,” said Jacqueline. “The same fear that I have. The fear of not being able to see some people or their families just because they are trying to make money just to have food on the table like every other household. Exactly the kind of food that farm workers’ communities pick in dangerous conditions. Enduring the unbearable heat, cold, body aches and the COVID pandemic, among other things. This fear haunts us and leads to the fact that many are unable to do things or receive the care we need, which many take for granted. “Fortino said:”[t]Legalizing farm workers would enable us to continue to work safely without fear of deportation. “

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