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Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia Rallies Strong Bipartisan Support Around CA Guest Worker Permit Progra

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Members of the California Legislature announce their solution to critical labor shortages facing the agricultural and service industries.

(Sacramento, CA) – Today, Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) was joined by Assemblymember Anna Caballero (D-Salinas), Assemblymember Devon Mathis (R-Visalia) and Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) to announce their legislative proposal to address critical labor shortages facing our state’s most vital agricultural and service industries.

AB 1885, California Resident Worker Program and Economic Stabilization Act (E. Garcia/2018) would organize a working group in order to establish a model for the implementation of a resident worker permit program. The state would work with the federal government to allow all current unauthorized workers in California’s agriculture and service industries to remain working in California until Congress enacts immigration reform policy.

“We can no longer afford to wait on Washington. This labor shortage has become an economic urgency,” emphasized Garcia. “We aren’t trying to encroach upon federal jurisdiction. Rather, the ultimate goal of our legislation is establishing a bipartisan group of Washington lawmakers, for the purpose of introducing a federal bill allowing states, like ours, to operate their own resident worker programs.”

“The national debate around immigration has become a serious impediment to effectively resolving this looming economic crisis.” Garcia maintains that, “Timing is critical and our state is willing to do the groundwork on establishing this imperative workforce program and pass along the baton.”

“California is a leader and we will continue to lead together, in a bipartisan, inclusive manner to ensure the stability of two of our most vital industries as well as the continued prosperity of our beloved Golden State.”

Statements from the Joint Authors:

“I’m extremely proud to jointly author with my colleagues this important piece of legislation. Farmworkers and service workers make significant contributions to California’s economy and are essential to maintaining the nation’s food supply. We must do whatever we can to help ensure they secure legal status and remain working in our state,” said Assemblymember Anna Caballero (D-Salinas).

“Agriculture is a major contributor to California’s economic sustainability, and we should explore all options to ensure we avoid worker shortages, while recognizing the necessity to address immigration reform on the federal level,” said Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres). “I believe this effort will make a positive statement toward that effort.”

Assemblymember Mathis (R-Visalia) stated, “Agriculture is embedded within our state’s history, and it leads the Nation and remains one of our states leading industries. As such, the people who work to build this industry, and ensure that people worldwide can have food on their table, are equally as important. This Measure is designed to protect these men and women, our friends and our neighbors, from uncertainty. I am always proud to be at the table when tough decisions are being made.”

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