On May Day, farm workers urge Congress pass farm worker legalization

In-person and virtual rallies took place in California, Georgia, Washington and Michigan. The actions are part of the national day of action led by We Are Home campaign with dozens of events nationwide.


Today on International Workers’ Day and Immigrant Rights Day, the UFW Foundation and the United Farm Workers rallied in-person and virtually with farm workers to urge Congress create a path to citizenship for farm workers. The nation’s undocumented essential farm workers have risked their lives to keep the country fed during the pandemic while being at risk of deportation. Seven farm worker-lead events took place in California, Georgia, Washington and Michigan.


The Farm Workforce Modernization Act would let undocumented farm workers apply for legal status and is the product of months of tough negotiations between the United Farm Workers, UFW Foundation, Farmworker Justice, the nation’s major grower associations and lawmakers from both parties. The bipartisan legislation passed the House on March 18 with 30 Republican votes, winning the most bipartisan support of any immigration proposal in years.


"This International Workers Day and Immigrant Rights Day we are calling on Senators to honor the men and women that harvest food for all of us by passing the Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2021,” said UFW President Teresa Romero. “Even while suffering high COVID-19 infection and death rates, farm workers did not ask if the food they harvested was for red or blue states. The Farm Workforce Modernization Act has been approved by the House, and now the Senate must act and get the bill to President Biden’s desk."


“Congress owes farm workers a path to citizenship and they must deliver,” said UFW Foundation Executive Director Diana Tellefson Torres. “One way for Congress to make sure farm workers have a pathway to citizenship is by approving the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. We must not forget that without farm workers, there would not be any food on our tables. Congress must commit to doing everything possible to finally protect farm workers from deportation.”


Farm workers who attended the events are available for interviews. Photos and video of May Day events are also available.