Thursday, May 27, 2021

Farmworker Modernization - Immigration Issues

You can still register for today's webinar The Farmworkers Modernization Act: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. A discussion about the current immigration legislation in Congress. The webinar starts at 8PM eastern/7 PM central/6PM mountain/5PM pacific.


Suggested reading material for tonight's discussion.

Dignity or Exploitation — What Future for Farmworker Families in the United States? documents the systematic abuse of workers in the H-2A program and its impact on the resident farmworker communities, confronted with a race to the bottom in wages and working conditions. 

Shorter pieces: 

A Democratic Food System Means Unions For Farmworkers

By David Bacon

Don’t Compromise on Farmworker Rights

By Saurav Sarkar 

Register for the Webinar here.

In solidarity,

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Farmworkers Modernization Act.



The Immigrants' Rights Working Group of DSA invite you to participate in a virtual forum on Thursday, May 27 @ 8pm eastern/5pm pacific.

Can you join me? Click here for details and to RSVP:

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Papers Not Crumbs

 Last week, thousands of immigrant workers and families took the streets of D.C. to kick off the next phase of our fight for permanent protection, dignity, and respect.

Marking International Worker's Day and the 100th day of Joe Biden's administration, we mobilized on Friday and Saturday to send a clear message to our community: we can and must fight for what we actually need — not just what the Democratic Party thinks is politically convenient.

Donate to Cosecha's fight for Papers, Not Crumbs for all 11 million undocumented immigrants

It was so powerful to see so many Cosecha leaders (and immigrant leaders from our partner organizations, like Familias Unidas en Acción in New Orleans and Justicia Migrante in Vermont) come together. Many of us took off work and traveled for many hours with our families to be part of the "Papers, Not Crumbs" mobilization.

Two days of immigrant-led action

On Friday, the 100th day of Joe Biden's administration, over forty immigrants and allies blocked traffic around the White House for several hours. Undocumented immigrants were willing to risk arrest (and possible deportation) to highlight Biden's broken promises to our community. 

In the end, we shut down traffic around the White House and over 30 allies were arrested, standing in solidarity with undocumented immigrants.

Throughout the action, reporters asked us why we needed to take such bold action. President Biden says he supports immigration reform for all 11 million. Shouldn't we give him a chance to actually get it done?

The reality is, we've been down that road before. For years, we lived with the hope that Obama and the Democrats would give us a pathway to citizenship, when the time was finally "right". It never happened, and millions were deported and remain separated from their families. This time, we refuse to let history repeat itself.

Instead of putting our faith in politicians who negotiate with our pain to advance their own political agendas—we are putting faith in ourselves, the immigrant workers who have always sustained this country.

On May 1, we were joined by hundreds more immigrants from all across the country, who traveled from dozens of cities on more than 30 buses, all so we could come together to demand papers, not crumbs.

To me, "papers, not crumbs" means finally ending the cycle of broken promises and compromises from politicians. It means rejecting the Democratic Party's strategy of dividing our community into "Dreamers" vs. parents, “good” and “bad”, “essential” and non-essential. We refuse to settle for meager crumbs: bills that divide and criminalize us. Instead, we will fight for what we really need: permanent protection for all undocumented immigrants.

Support from our whole community

Duane, I am so thankful for everyone who helped make May 1 possible by organizing on the ground, supporting us in D.C., watching and sharing our content on social media, and making donations. Cosecha has always believed that everything we need is in our community and we saw that again with this action.

If you haven't already donated to support Cosecha's May 1 campaign, please consider making a one-time or recurring donation now to support the remaining costs from these mobilizations — and to help sustain our undocumented organizers throughout the next phase of our fight!

Monday, May 03, 2021

Racism against Farm Workers

 Statement of Teresa Romero, President, UFW

House Education and Labor Committee’s Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee
From Excluded to Essential: Tracing the Racist Exclusion of Farmworkers, Domestic Workers, and Tipped Workers from the Fair Labor Standards Act
May 3, 2021 

Because of our nation’s racism and history of discrimination against farm workers, agricultural work has long been perceived as undesirable work. As a result, many of the country’s most vulnerable individuals work as farm workers. Roughly half of the nation’s 2.4 million farm workers are undocumented23 and approximately 10% of the workforce are H-2A workers, nonimmigrants whose ability to work and remain in the country is dependent on the employer that petitioned for them.24 The lack of immigration status and citizenship means farmworkers are often too fearful of retaliation and immigration enforcement to draw attention to themselves by complaining about workplace violations or seeking improved conditions. In this way, our nation’s racist exclusion of farm workers from key labor protections has perpetuated the vulnerability of agricultural workers, including by depriving them of the political power needed to improve their circumstances. 

In conclusion, now end the discriminatory treatment of agricultural workers regarding overtime pay and minimum wage in 

the Fair Labor Standards Act. The legislation would phase in overtime pay over a period of 4 years and would give smaller employers additional time to adjust to these changes. 

32 See, e.g. Colorado SB21-087, Oregon HB 2358
33 “How much would it cost consumers to give farm workers a significant raise?” Daniel Costa and Phil Martin, EPI Working Economics Blog, October 15, 2020, available at consumers-to-give-farmworkers-a-significant-raise-a-40-increase-in-pay-would-cost-just-25-per-household/.

is the time to right wrongs that can no longer be justified or tolerated in a 

society where equal rights and equal justice are supposed to be more than academic theories or 

political rhetoric. In a world that is ever more conscious of the structural racism underpinning 

our society, we must end the racist exclusion of farm workers from FLSA’s overtime protection. 


We call on Congress to enact legislation such as Rep. Grijalva’s and now Vice President Harris’send the discriminatory treatment of agricultural workers regarding overtime pay and minimum wage in 

the Fair Labor Standards Act. The legislation would phase in overtime pay over a period of 4 years and would give smaller employers additional time to adjust to these changes.


Saturday, May 01, 2021