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UFW President Arturo Rodriguez, Farm Workers attend Presidential 2013 Inauguration PDF Print E-mail
Written by San Fernando Valley Sun   
Thursday, 24 January 2013 06:05

Advocating for Immigration Reform

PHOTO COURTESY

United Farm Workers President Arturo Rodriguez(left) and farm worker leaders from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Oregon, North Carolina, Florida, Washington, Missouri and California meet with officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the White House to discuss an immigration reform at the White House Conference Center in D.C., a day after President Obama's inauguration. He is in D.C. through Thursday, Jan. 24, meeting with legislators from both parties and White House officials.

Keene, CA - Monday marked the 57th Presidential Inauguration Ceremony, but for millions of Latinos who voted for Obama's re-election, it's the official kickoff of an aggressive effort to pass immigration reform for the 11 million new immigrants who aspire to call America their home.

"The time is now," said United Farm Workers President Arturo Rodriguez. "Voters have spoken and now we urge both, Republicans and Democrats, to work together to enact a new comprehensive immigration process that works for America."

PHOTO COURTESY

UFW President Arturo Rodriguez

When President Obama traveled last year to Nuestra Señora de la Paz in Keene, California and headquarters of the United Farm Workers of America to designate part of the Farm Worker Movement grounds as the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument, the UFW discussed with the President the need for immigration reform. In private, President Obama promised Cesar Chavez's widow, Helen, to make comprehensive immigration reform a top priority in his second term.

Since President Obama's reelection, UFW leaders have continued those conversations with the White House, the president and congressional leaders of both parties to find a solution that addresses the concerns and issues affecting everybody in this country. On Monday, Jan. 21, Rodriguez was joined by farm workers leaders coming from different parts of the country, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Oregon, North Carolina, Florida, Washington, Missouri and California, to celebrate President Obama's second term but also to meet with legislators and White House officials asking them to support immigration reform that protects farm workers.

Rodriguez said the new process must include a path to citizenship for 11 million new Americans. He said Congress must also pass the Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits and Security Act (AgJOBS) bill or include legislation that addresses farm workers needs as part of an immigration reform package. AgJOBS is a bipartisan approach and supported by agricultural employers, who have worked on this legislation with the UFW for a decade. The bill would give professional farm workers presently here who have already been contributing to our country the right to earn legal status by continuing to work in agriculture.

"Farm workers who feed our nation and many others have earned the right to be considered for citizenship," Rodriguez added.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 24 January 2013 06:41