Farm-labor reform bill heads for House vote this week

Six weeks after sponsors unveiled their plan, the House is scheduled to vote on a bipartisan bill to provide legal status to undocumented farmworkers and to modernize the H-2A guestworker program. If passed, the bill has an uncertain future, with impeachment dominating the congressional agenda and the Republican-run Senate blockading legislation from the Democratic-controlled House.

ICE officers target upstate New York farmworker

Officers from Immigrations and Customs Enforcement targeted a farmworker in Rome, New York, in an early morning confrontation Wednesday. The officers detained the worker while his employer attempted to film the incident.

Rural Americans want a public lands transfer because they can’t get a public-lands job

The reason Americans rarely take timber jobs in public forests isn’t because they don’t like to work hard. It’s because a combination of immigration laws, tight federal budgets and divisive politics have turned forestry jobs into little more than low-paid servitude, writes Hal Herring in FERN’s story [LINK] with High Country News.

Canada’s guest farmworker program accused of human rights abuses

With Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau taking to Twitter to welcome immigrants to his country, Canada has gained a reputation for being friendly to new arrivals. But now the nation’s guest farmworker program has come under scrutiny for human rights abuses and treatment that is anything but hospitable.

California state fair holds farmworker exhibit for the first time

For the first time in it’s 164-year history, the California state fair will includes a farmworker exhibit, celebrating the people who have keep the state’s $47-billion industry running. “The exhibit features the stories of pioneers who founded the United Farm Workers of America: Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta and Filipino union leader Larry Itliong,” along with information on modern-day labor laws like the one signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last year, guaranteeing overtime pay after an eight-hour workday for farmworkers, says Lake County News.

Deport felons, not farmworkers, says grower group

The Western Growers Association, speaking for produce growers in Arizona, California and Colorado, says immigration reform should go hand in hand with the Trump administration's priority of deporting undocumented immigrants guilty of serious crimes. Western Growers chief executive Tom Nassif said, "Much of our [U.S.] agricultural productivity is owed to the hard work of foreign hands, in particular the harvesting of our nutritious fruits and vegetables."

Heat blamed for California farmworker deaths; should we expect more?

According to the United Farm Workers, three female grape pickers died in California this week, most likely because of the heat, said ABC News–Kero/Bakersfield.