Senate Reconciliation Bill Could Address Farmworker Immigration Status


By Jerry Hagstrom, DTN/Progressive Farmer



The reconciliation bill that Senate Democrats are preparing could include a provision to cover immigration status for essential workers including farm workers, but there is debate over whether Senate rules would allow an immigration measure to be included.


Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Calif., a member of the Senate Budget Committee, is pushing to pass a pathway to citizenship for essential workers, "Dreamers" and other undocumented immigrants as part of the spending bill, reported KQED, a San Francisco radio station.


"Creating new paths to citizenship will grow our economy and improve workplaces for all. And that's exactly the purpose of the infrastructure investments that we are developing," Padilla said.


Advocates of immigration law reform say the reconciliation bill may be the best opportunity to pass it because the bill will require only Democratic votes. But the question is whether the Senate parliamentarian will allow an immigration measure in a budget bill.


The House has already passed a Farmworker Modernization Act and the bill is under consideration in the Senate.


Advocates for farm businesses and workers say...