New Ag Guestworker Program Legislation Headed To US House
A bill to overhaul the federal agricultural guestworker program cleared its first hurdle Wednesday and is headed to the full U.S. House.
The Republican-majority House Judiciary Committee passed the bill 17-16 after two days of debate and over the objections of many Democrats. It’s likely to clear the House, though its future in the Senate is unclear.
But Democrats countered during the debate that the legislation would lower pay, displace workers who are American citizens and weaken protections for immigrant laborers.
“This is setting up a permanent second class of persons in the United States,” U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Georgia, says, adding later, “The whip of oppression is in the hand of the man. The man is not really the farmer, the man is the staffing agency that recruits the workers.”