The Agricultural Worker Program Act would allow many undocumented farm workers and their family members the opportunity to earn legal immigration status and citizenship. Under the Agricultural Worker Program Act, farm workers who have worked in agriculture for at least 100 days in each of the past two years may earn lawful “blue card” status. Farm workers who maintain blue card status for the next three or five years, depending on the total hours worked in agriculture, would be eligible to adjust to a green card or legal permanent residency.
The Act also protects agricultural employers of the eligible farmworkers from civil penalties for previously hiring undocumented immigrants. The bill would leave in place the existing H-2A visa program, which allows employers to hire agricultural guest-workers to address shortages of citizens and authorized immigrants. However, the bill would minimize the need for use of the H-2A program by providing a meaningful, long term solution for agricultural employers. Recent H-2A guest-workers meeting eligibility requirements would be able to apply for blue cards.
STATUS: Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
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