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Action Alert: AgJOBS Advocacy

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    Action Alert: AgJOBS Advocacy From: mbelanger@immigrationforum.org Date: March 10, 2004 AGJOBS: ADVOCACY AND ACTIONS A piece of immigration reform that has
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 11, 2004
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      Action Alert: AgJOBS Advocacy

      From: mbelanger@...
      Date: March 10, 2004


      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
      agricultural workers.

      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.


      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
      H.R. 3142.

      * 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

      Thank You.

      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.


      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.



      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
      Congressional Recess

      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@....

      * If you would like to stop receiving e-mail **
      * updates from the National Immigration Forum, **
      * send a message to mbelanger@... **
      * and ask to be removed from the list. It's **
      * easier to find you on the list if you identify **
      * yourself when making any request. -mb **

      Maurice Belanger
      Senior Policy Associate
      National Immigration Forum

      National Immigrant Soliadrity Network
      No Immigrant Bashing! Support Immigrant Rights!
      webpage: http://www.actionla.org/ISN/ (For latest immigrant issues/news)

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