As a new Congress and a re-elected President prepare to take office, we are convinced there must be a new immigration process in 2013.
We need a comprehensive solution that addresses concerns and issues affecting everybody in this country.
The new process must include a roadmap to citizenship for 11 million new Americans. These new Americans aspire to become citizens and fully engage in the success and responsibilities of their new country.
Farm workers who feed our nation and many others have earned the right to be considered for citizenship. As part of bigger changes to our immigration process, Congress must pass the Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits and Security Act (AgJOBS) bill. The bill is a bipartisan approach and supported by agricultural employers, who have worked on this legislation with the UFW for a decade. AgJOBS would give professional farm workers presently here who have already been contributing to our country the right to earn legal status by continuing to work in agriculture.
We've spoken to President Obama directly about this urgent need. In fact on October 8th, before President Obama spoke before 7,000 people in dedicating the Cesar Chavez National Monument, we spoke with him in private about the urgent need for a new immigration process. He vowed to us, and he has repeated in public, his determination to make reforming immigration laws a top priority in the new year.
We have continued these conversations with the White House since President Obama’s reelection. We have also continued discussions with congressional leaders to find a solution.
The UFW's biggest focus is the push to win citizenship for new Americans who work in the fields and to build America. We are in talks with congressional leaders and are analyzing different proposals from both Democrats and Republicans. As these proposals advance, the United Farm Workers will ensure that the needs of farm workers and their families are honored.
You've stood beside farm workers on reforming our laws in the past. Now will you please sign the pledge to support our efforts to make a new immigration process a reality in 2013?
Arturo S. Rodriguez, President
United Farm Workers of America