Photo: California's Undocumented Farmworker
California’s senior senator, Dianne Feinstein, didn’t mince words “Stop deporting farmworkers” or you risk crippling the country’s food supply and devastating the agricultural industry.
Senator Feinstein has asked Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) authorities to stop deporting undocumented agricultural farmworkers much the same way ICE has stopped deporting undocumented youth. Her plea comes in light an acute worker shortage affecting the 81,000 farms in her state.
Feinstein has been urging the protection of farmworkers for nearly a year and was hopeful passage of comprehensive immigration reform in the Senate would lead to work permits for undocumented farm laborers. Now she has sent a letter to ICE saying:
I respectfully suggest that you adopt a similar policy of exercising prosecutorial discretion to defer enforcement against agricultural employers and workers, and concentrate instead on removing those who would and have harmed our society, rather than those who contribute to our vital agricultural economy and heritage, and the safe and high-quality food supply that benefits all Americans.
The senior senator has voted yes to continue federal funding for declared “sanctuary cities’, voted yes on the DREAM Act, voted yes on comprehensive immigration reform and was the prime sponsor of a bill aimed at reducing the backlog of naturalization and visa applications