Proposed bill may give agricultural workers a path to citizenship

Millions of immigrants, both authorized and otherwise, work in the United States each and every day, providing essential help and services to communities all throughout the nation. One industry that relies heavily on immigrant workers is agriculture. Hundreds of thousands of individuals from other nations find work in fields, factories, and other agricultural sites to support themselves and their loved ones.

Kentucky residents may remember that hundreds of unauthorized workers were detained by ICE when a poultry processing plant was raided earlier this year. This action sent panic through immigrant communities as it appeared the government would be targeting individuals where they worked. While the law has yet to change, some in Congress are working to pass new legislation that would give workers in the agricultural industry an opportunity to gain citizenship.

Demand for employment in agriculture is high and many farmers, manufacturers, and processors struggle to secure workers who can provide evidence of their legal status in the country. Without immigrant workers, many ag-based businesses could go under due to a lack of manpower to bring in crops and prepare food for consumer purchase. The bill would ease tensions in this community to allow worker to continue to do what they are paid to do in a legal manner that grants them citizenship.

Living in the United States without legal residency or citizenship can be tenuous for those who need to make a living. Workers in agriculture and other fields are encouraged to seek legal support so that they can make good choices about how to protect their employment and their positions in the United States.