Action Alert: AgJOBS Advocacy
- Action Alert: AgJOBS Advocacy
Date: March 10, 2004
AGJOBS: ADVOCACY AND ACTIONS
A piece of immigration reform that has already been introduced in
Congress is the Agricultural Job Opportunity, Benefits, and Security Act
(AgJOBS, S. 1645 and H.R. 3142). The AgJOBS bill is the product of a
compromise between growers and their advocates in Congress, and
farmworkers and their advocates. It would legalize (and provide
permanent residence to) the undocumented agricultural workforce, and
make changes to the program that provides temporary visas to
Today, and continuing through a "National Week of Action" the week of
March 22, lead advocates for the bill are calling for a range of
advocacy activities to urge Congress to take up this bill. Following is
text modified from an alert provided by the Farmworker Justice Fund,
outlining advocacy steps to be taken in the next two weeks.
On March 9, a bill was introduced in the Senate as an alternative to the
AgJOBS bill by Immigration Subcommittee Chair Saxby Chambliss (R-GA).
It would abolish many of the worker protections of the current H-2A
program, and would NOT offer permanent residence to undocumented
farmworkers. The bill, S. 2185, is similar to a bill introduced by
Robert Goodlatte (R-VA), H.R. 3604. (Discussion of the Goodlatte bill
was included in a previous e-mail update.) If you make a call (as
requested below) and are asked, please say that you oppose the Chambliss
bill in the Senate and the Goodlatte bill in the House.
AGJOBS CALL-IN: MARCH 11
TELL CONGRESS TO PASS AGJOBS: WE CAN DO IT WITH YOUR HELP
March 11th, 2004: Participate in a National Call-in Day for Farmworker
We ask that you call your members of Congress (two Senators and one
Representative) and other key members to urge them to pass AgJOBS.
To contact your Congressional member's Washington DC office, call the
Capitol Switchboard phone number, 202-225-3121, and ask to be connected
to the appropriate office.
Please also call other members on a target lists for the House and
Senate. The target list can be obtained here:
* My name is: _____________
* I am a constituent and I would like to speak with the staff
person who is responsible for the AgJOBS farmworker immigration
legislation. (If the person is not available, you may speak with anyone
in the office or leave a voice mail message).
NOTE: If you are not a constituent, then you could say: I am calling
because I am very interested in farmworker immigration issues.
* The AgJOBS bill is a compromise between farmworker
organizations, labor unions, agricultural employers, immigrant groups
and others. It is endorsed by major agribusiness groups, farm labor
organizations including the United Farm Workers and the Farm Labor
Organizing Committee, Hispanic civil rights organizations like the
National Council of La Raza, the AFL-CIO and many others.
* Senators Larry Craig (R-ID) and Edward Kennedy (D-MA), and
Representatives Chris Cannon (R-UT) and Howard Berman (D-CA) are the
chief sponsors of the legislation. The bill numbers are S. 1645 and
* This bipartisan legislation already has significant support. As
of March 8, 2004, it has 52 cosponsors in the Senate and 90 cosponsors
in the House.
* The bill will give agricultural employers a stable labor supply
by giving many agricultural workers who lack authorized immigration
status the chance to become legal immigrants.
* It also will revise the current H-2A agricultural guestworker
program, to streamline the process making it easier for employers to
obtain legal workers. Important safeguards for labor will continue.
* The legislation will promote homeland security by helping our
government identify who is inside the United States.
* Please cosponsor this legislation and help us pass it by April.
The status quo is untenable and must be reformed. The bill is fair to
both workers and employers; it is consistent with our national security
needs; and it is sensible government policy.
NOTE: If the member is already a cosponsor (see Cosponsor list at:
http://www.fwjustice.org/CalltoAction.htm), then say: Please thank
Representative ___ / Senator _____ for being a cosponsor. We need
him/her to help us pass AgJOBS during April. With your help it can be
More information about AgJOBS is available at www.fwjustice.org and at
www.ufw.org. Please tell us (at agjobs@...) if you or the
Congressional staff need additional information.
OTHER ACTIVITIES TO URGE CONGRESS TO PASS AGJOBS BY APRIL 20
A National Week of Action in Washington, D.C. is scheduled for the week
of March 22, 2004. During that week, farmworker supporters will meet
with members of Congress and their staffs to educate them about the
AgJOBS legislation and request prompt action. A meeting place will be
set up to hold an advocacy training session on Tuesday, March 23.
Additional information will be distributed shortly.
EVENTS LEADING UP TO THE NATIONAL WEEK OF ACTION
WE NEED YOUR ACTIVE PARTICIPATION IN THESE EVENTS!!
March 5-20: Fax and e-mail letters to Congress
* Please send a letter to urge your members of Congress to
cosponsor AgJOBS, help bring it to a vote and pass it by April. You may
send the letter to their Washington DC and local offices. A sample
letter can be obtained here:
* In addition to your own representative and Senators, please send
a letter to the additional key members of the House and Senate on the
list that can be obtained from:
(Senators in bold are targets) and key House members.
If your House member is not on this list, you may obtain contact
information for your House member by (1) calling the Capitol Switchboard
at 202-225-3121 and asking to be connected to that Representative's
office, or (2) going to www.house.gov, where you may obtain contact
information for every Representative (to find your representative type
in your zip code).
* To find out if your member of Congress is already a cosponsor of
this legislation, please obtain the list of cosponsors at:
If your Senator or Representative is already a cosponsor, call anyway to
thank the Senator or Representative for being a cosponsor, and ask them
to work hard to pass this legislation by April.
Week of March 15th - Visit Senators' state office during the
The Senate will be on recess during the week of March 15. Please make
appointments to meet with your Senator and his/her staff members in your
state during this period.
Week of March 22nd - National Week of Action in Washington D.C.
Tuesday, March 23
8:30 am - Noon: Advocacy Training (Location: TBA)
Noon - 5 pm: Meetings on the Hill (Please call ahead to schedule
with your Congressional members and staff)
Wednesday, March 24
Time: TBA: Press Conference with Congressional sponsors, Latino and
religious leaders, growers and farmworker advocates
All Day: Meetings on the Hill
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm: Reception - 121 Cannon House Office Building
Thursday, March 25
All day Meetings on the Hill
Contact people will follow up with you to collect information on the
results of your visits.
If you would like to be on the e-mail list for these events, please send
an email to agjobs@..., and the Farmworker Justice Fund will
send you information. Thank you. PLEASE PLAN YOUR TRIP NOW FOR THE WEEK
OF MARCH 22. Please let us know if you will be coming. Send us an
email at agjobs@....
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* yourself when making any request. -mb **
Senior Policy Associate
National Immigration Forum
National Immigrant Soliadrity Network
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