California's legislature recently passed Assembly Bill 1783, the Farm Worker Housing Act of 2019, by Assemblymember Robert Rivas. AB 1783 encourages the construction of housing for farm worker families. However, it would prohibit using state taxpayer resources to fund H2A barrack-style housing projects. The current housing policy is designed to prop up employer uses of H-2A foreign guest workers.
There is a shortage of affordable family housing for farm worker families. This new bill addresses this issue.
Tell Gov. Newsom to sign AB 1783 into law.
Trump's proposed new H-2A rules would make it easier to replace U.S. farm workers with more guest workers, pay U.S. farm workers less and provide them with fewer protections under the abusive federal H-2A visa program. Growers using H-2A workers are already legally required to provide housing.
Why should the taxpayers help pay for it?
Farm workers with H-2A visas are harnessed to a single employer. No family unity is allowed; women are discriminated against, with men comprising more than 95 percent of H-2A workers in California. The employer controls daily meals, housing, transportation and immigration status.
It is time to update California farm worker housing policy. But we don't need to move backward by helping growers advance Trump's abusive agenda.